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To determine more closely the relationship between vasomotor symptoms, well-being
and climacteric status according to the last menstrual bleeding and according to the
A population-based cross-sectional study was executed using a postal questionnaire.
Well-being of women with and without vasomotor symptoms was compared, for the different
menopausal statuses. All 2729 women living in a commuter suburb of Rotterdam aged
45-60 years were approached of whom 1947 (71.3%) responded. Well-being was measured
by the Inventory of Subjective Health (ISH) and three subscales of the Sickness Impact
The results showed that the relationship between vasomotor symptoms and well-being
was dependent on climacteric status. Pre- and (middle and late) postmenopausal women
with vasomotor symptoms more often experienced a relatively lower level of well-being
compared to women without these symptoms. However, when the prevalence of vasomotor
symptoms is as its peak, i.e. in late perimenopause, a difference in the level of
well-being between women with and without vasomotor symptoms was absent.
It is concluded that well-being and vasomotor symptoms were inversely related in all
menopausal statuses except for the (late) perimenopausal phase. For this no somatic
explanation seems plausible. A more social scientific explanation is suggested.