WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A history of psychosocial stressors is associated with worse menopausal symptoms and poorer well-being in midlife, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in Menopause.

Sabrina Faleschini, Ph.D., from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston, and colleagues examined the longitudinal associations of psychosocial stressors with menopausal symptoms and well-being of women in midlife in a study based on 682 women, who were enrolled during pregnancy in 1999 to 2002 and followed for about two decades. Women self-reported psychosocial stressors from childhood to the current pregnancy. In 2017 to 2021, they reported their menopausal symptoms and well-being at a median age of 51.6 years.

The researchers found that history of physical abuse was associated with worse menopausal symptoms in the somatovegetative and psychological domains (0.46 and 0.52 points, respectively) and with worse general health and depressive symptoms (odds ratios, 1.73 and 1.74, respectively). Worse menopausal symptoms and worse general health were seen in association with a history of sexual abuse (2.81 points and odds ratio of 2.04, respectively), but no association was seen with depressive symptoms. Associations were seen for history of financial instability with worse menopausal symptoms (1.92 points) and worse general health and depressive symptoms (odds ratios, 2.16 and 2.68, respectively).

“These results highlight the long-lasting influence of adverse experiences on women’s physical and mental health and emphasize the importance of past history of psychosocial stressors when considering the health of women in midlife,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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