To estimate the prevalence and severity of menopausal symptoms and anxiety/depression and to assess the differences according to menopausal status among women living with HIV aged 45-60 years from the cohort of Spanish HIV/AIDS Research Network (CoRIS).
Women were interviewed by phone between September 2017 and December 2018 to determine whether they had experienced menopausal symptoms and anxiety/depression. The Menopause Rating Scale was used to evaluate the prevalence and severity of symptoms related to menopause in three subscales: somatic, psychologic and urogenital; and the 4-item Patient Health Questionnaire was used for anxiety/depression. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) of association between menopausal status, and other potential risk factors, the presence and severity of somatic, psychological and urogenital symptoms and of anxiety/depression.
Of 251 women included, 137 (54.6%) were post-, 70 (27.9%) peri- and 44 (17.5%) pre-menopausal, respectively. Median age of onset menopause was 48 years (IQR 45-50). The proportions of pre-, peri- and post-menopausal women who had experienced any menopausal symptoms were 45.5%, 60.0% and 66.4%, respectively. Both peri- and post-menopause were associated with a higher likelihood of having somatic symptoms (aOR 3.01; 95% CI 1.38-6.55 and 2.63; 1.44-4.81, respectively), while post-menopause increased the likelihood of having psychological (2.16; 1.13-4.14) and urogenital symptoms (2.54; 1.42-4.85). By other hand, post-menopausal women had a statistically significant five-fold increase in the likelihood of presenting severe urogenital symptoms than pre-menopausal women (4.90; 1.74-13.84). No significant differences by menopausal status were found for anxiety/depression. Joint/muscle problems, exhaustion and sleeping disorders were the most commonly reported symptoms among all women. Differences in the prevalences of vaginal dryness (p = 0.002), joint/muscle complaints (p = 0.032), and sweating/flush (p = 0.032) were found among the three groups.
Women living with HIV experienced a wide variety of menopausal symptoms, some of them initiated before women had any menstrual irregularity. We found a higher likelihood of somatic symptoms in peri- and post-menopausal women, while a higher likelihood of psychological and urogenital symptoms was found in post-menopausal women. Most somatic symptoms were of low or moderate severity, probably due to the good clinical and immunological situation of these women.