Changes in physical symptoms during the menopause transition

Wendy J. Brown*, Gita D. Mishra, Annette Dobson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


This article analyzes physical symptoms experienced by mid-age Australian women in different stages of the menopause transition. A total of 8,623 women, aged 45 to 50 years in 1996, who participated the mid-age cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, completed Survey 1 in 1996 and Survey 2 in 1998. Women were assigned to 1 of 6 menopause groups according to their menopausal status at Surveys 1 and 2, and compared on symptoms experienced at Surveys 1 and 2, adjusted for lifestyle, behavioral and demographic factors. At Survey 1, the most commonly reported symptoms were headaches, back pain, stiff joints, tiredness, and difficulty sleeping. Perimenopausal women were more likely than premenopausal or postmenopausal women to report these symptoms. Hot flushes and night sweats were more common among postmenopausal women. Compared with those who remained premenopausal, women who were in the early stages of menopause or perimenopausal were more likely to report tiredness, stiff joints, difficulty sleeping, and hot flushes at Survey 2. Women who remained perimenopausal were also more likely to report back pain and leaking urine. Compared with premenopausal women, odds ratios for night sweats increased for women in consecutive stages of the menopause transition and remained high in the postmenopausal women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


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