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Physical functioning and menopause in middle aged women

Wang, Yiting (2014) Physical functioning and menopause in middle aged women. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

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Aim: It has been reported that women in their midlife were more likely to have worse physical functioning (PF) limitations than men of a similar age. Since PF limitations are significant predictors for disability, healthcare utility, healthcare cost, and mortality in the elderly, the higher prevalence of PF limitations reported in middle-aged women is considered a public health issue. Given that the accelerated decline of PF is coincident with the menopausal transition, whether the menopausal transition, rather than normal aging, is related to lower levels of physical functioning in middle aged women remains uncertain. The primary aim of this work was to review systematically the literature that evaluates the associations between menopausal status and measures of PF. Related literature addressing the associations between sex hormones and PF were also reviewed. Methods: Published articles between March 24, 1999 and March 24, 2014 were retrieved from the Pubmed database using selective keywords in the “Title/Abstract”. Only English non-review articles in Humans that evaluated PF measures as outcome variables and menopausal status or sex hormones as independent variables were included in this literature review. Results: Nineteen articles were reviewed. In summary, the natural transition through the menopause was associated with declines in PF independent of the effect of aging. However, few studies used performance-based measurements to evaluate PF declines. Additionally, women undergoing surgical menopause were more likely to experience lower levels of PF compared to premenopausal women. These studies, however, did not evaluate comprehensively the impact of underlying medical conditions leading to surgical menopause on the levels of PF. Finally, the association between sex hormones and PF was still not clear. Conclusion: First, further studies that use performance-based measures of PF, are needed to support the findings that natural menopause is associated with lower level of PF as reported in studies used self-reported measures. Second, underlying medical conditions of surgical menopause should be considered in future studies evaluating surgical menopause and PF. Lastly, the role of the dynamic changes of sex hormones during the menopausal transition in the corresponding changes of PF needs to be explored further.


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Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Wang, Yiting
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberEl Khoudary, Samar Relkhoudarys@edc.pitt.eduSAE25UNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberCharity, Moore Gmoorecg@upmc.eduUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSelzer, Faith Mselzer@edc.pitt.eduEPIDFSUNSPECIFIED
Date: 24 April 2014
Date Type: Publication
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 21:45
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2022 11:56

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