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TCTAP A-096

Asian American Midlife Women’s Cardiorespiratory Symptom Experience During Their Menopausal Transition

By Wonshik Chee, Eun-Ok Im

Presenter

Wonshik Chee

Authors

Wonshik Chee1, Eun-Ok Im1

Affiliation

Emory University, USA1
View Study Report
TCTAP A-096
Women’s Health Issues

Asian American Midlife Women’s Cardiorespiratory Symptom Experience During Their Menopausal Transition

Wonshik Chee1, Eun-Ok Im1

Emory University, USA1

Background

The changes in estrogen and progesterone during the menopausal transition are reportedly linked to alterations in cardiorespiratory functions and subsequent cardiorespiratory symptoms. However, little is still clearly known about cardiorespiratory symptom experience of midlife women in their menopausal transition including Asian American women. In general, Asian American women have been reported to be less likely to experience symptoms during their menopausal transition than other racial/ethnic groups of women although the reasons for their low prevalence rate has not been clearly known yet.  Thus, examining their cardiorespiratory symptom experience would provide directions for future interventions to improve cardiorespiratory symptom experience of midlife women in their menopausal transition.  The purpose of this study was to explore cardiorespiratory symptom experience of Asian American midlife women during their menopausal transition and the associations of menopausal status and other multiple factors to the prevalence and severity of their cardiorespiratory symptoms.  

Methods

This secondary analysis included the data of 107 Asian American midlife women from a parent study. The parent study aimed to determine racial/ethnic differences in midlife women’s symptom experience during their menopausal transition.  The Midlife Women’s Symptom Index (MSI) was used to determine the prevalence and severity of cardiovascular symptoms. Menopausal status was measured using 7 questions related to menstruation during the past 1 year (e.g., last menstrual cycle, regularity, and flow etc.). Background characteristics of the women were assessed using multiple items on sociodemographics and health/disease status. The data analysis methods included: descriptive statistics, ANOVA with post hoc tests by Duncan, and multinomial logistic regression analyses.

Results

The most prevalent cardiorespiratory symptoms among Asian American midlife women included: feeling hot/cold (40.2%), neck pain (35.3%), exhaustion (25.2%), hot flashes (19.6%), palpitation (8.3%), night sweats (7.5%), joint swelling (5.6%), and suffocating (2.8%).  The most severe symptoms among this population included: shoulder pain (mean [SD]= 1.10 [1.50]), neck pain (mean [SD]= 0.98 [1.39]), feeling hot/cold (mean [SD]=0.97 [1.31]), exhaustion (mean [SD]=0.82 [1.50]), hot flashes (mean [SD]= 0.53 [1.18]), night sweats (mean [SD]= 0.25 [0.93]), palpitation (mean [SD]= 0.21 [0.77]), and joint swelling (mean [SD]= 0.18 [0.76]). The prevalence and severity of cardiorespiratory symptoms were highest in the peri-menopausal period and decreased in the post-menopausal period (p<0.05). The factors that significantly influenced the prevalence of cardiorespiratory symptoms included: peri-menopausal status, age, very high financial strain, medication, and employment (p<0.05). The factors that significantly influenced the severity of cardiorespiratory symptoms included: peri-menopausal status (OR=4.55, 95% CI= 1.08–19.11) and very high financial strain (OR=7.82, 95% CI=1.30–47.10).

Conclusion

Asian American midlife women had unique types of cardiorespiratory symptoms during their menopausal transition, and the prevalence and severity of their cardiorespiratory symptoms were highest in their peri-menopausal period. Menopausal status and multiple factors uniquely influenced the prevalence and severity of their cardiorespiratory symptoms. These findings on cardiorespiratory symptom experience of Asian American midlife women in the menopausal transition need to be considered in future healthcare for this specific population.

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