Prevalence of menopausal symptoms, its effect on quality of life among Malaysian women and their treatment seeking behavior

Bahiyah Abdullah, Burhanuddin Moize, Badrul Aznil Ismail, Madihah Zamri, Najihah Farhah Mohd Nasir

Abstract:

Introduction: This study aimed to determine the prevalence of menopausal symptoms, its effect to the quality of life and their treatment seeking behaviour in a multiracial community in Malaysia. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study involving postmenopausal women in Klang Valley, Malaysia. Data was obtained by face-to-face interview using standardized questionnaires on sociodemographic data, Menopause Rating Scale questionnaire, effect to quality of life and treatment sought. Results: A total of 258 women, including Malays (82%), Indians (14.1%) and Chinese (3.9%) were recruited. The median age was 58 (range 45-86) years old. Joint and muscular discomfort (73.3%) and fatigue (59.3%) were the most prevalent symptoms. Significant association with ethnicity were demonstrated with Malays was found to have 3.1 times higher incidence of sexual problems than Indians, (Odds Ratio (OR) 3.103; 95%CI 1.209, 7.967) and Indian had 2.6 times higher incidence of irritability compared to Malays (OR 2.598; 95%CI 1.126, 5.992). Fifty-two percent of women felt that menopausal symptoms affected their quality of life but there were only 2.7% who were severely affected. There were 24.8% of women who sought treatment and only 20.3% of those who took hormone replacement therapy. There was no significant association found between their treatment seeking behaviour in association with ethnicity, age, parity, marital and occupational status. Conclusion: Menopausal symptoms were prevalent among menopausal women, although only a small group of women who were severely affected. There was a lack of tendency in seeking treatment for menopausal symptoms among the women.

Med J Malaysia Vol 72 No 2 April 2017