Menopause in Australia and Japan: effects of country of residence on menopausal status and menopausal symptoms
Anderson, Debra J., Yoshizawa, Toyoko, Gollschewski, Sara E., Atogami, Fumi, & Courtney, Mary D. (2004) Menopause in Australia and Japan: effects of country of residence on menopausal status and menopausal symptoms. Climacteric: the journal of the International Menopause Society, 7(2), pp. 165-174.
The aim of the study was to explore the effects of country of residence on menopausal status and menopausal symptoms in Australian and Japanese women. The study objectives included exploring the impact of country of residence (Australia and Japan) and menopausal status on menopausal symptoms, and identifying whether country of residence (Australia and Japan) moderates the relationship between menopausal status and menopausal symptoms.
Analyses are based on 1743 women aged between 40 and 60 years who participated in the multi-race, multi-site, cross-sectional study of mid-aged women called the Australian and Japanese Midlife Women’s Health Study (AJMWHS) in 2001– 002. Study participants completed a mailed questionnaire that contained questions on a variety of health-related topics.
In both cultures there was a similar increase in prevalence of depression (p50.001), somatic symptoms (p50.001) and vasomotor symptoms (p50.001) at perimenopause. Australian women experienced more night sweats than Japanese women but the prevalence of hot flushes was not statistically different. Postmenopausal Japanese women had more somatic, psychological and sexual symptoms. The main effect for menopausal status and the interaction effect of country of residence was significant in the somatic symptoms (p50.001), but not in any of the other areas.
Vasomotor, psychological and somatic symptoms decrease after menopause in Australian women, with only sexual symptoms continuing. In Japanese women, somatic, psychological and sexual symptoms remain high after menopause. It is possible that westernization may be having a significant impact on the aging of women in Japan and it is, therefore important to capture through research just what this impact may be.
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