Background: Among older women in East Asia, and Taiwan in particular, there is little research on quality of life and the health care they receive to address the symptoms of menopause. This study evaluated factors which influence quality of life among post middle-age women in Taiwan. Methods: This cross-sectional study recruited 1250 women between 43 and 77 years of age during the year 2002. The factors investigated were demographics, menstruation status, menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis status, and use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). SF-36 was used to assess the health-related quality of life of these women. Correlation, multiple regression and path analysis were used to test for direct and indirect relationships among the variables. Results: There are statistical significances between menopause symptoms and quality of life across different age groups. Path analysis shows a direct positive effect of HRT and a direct negative effect of climacteric symptoms on both physical and mental components of quality of life. Age, marital status, education and osteoporosis also have direct and indirect effects, some positive and others negative, on the components of quality of life. Conclusions: When developing programs to enhance health in post middle-age women, consideration should be given to symptom relief as well as quality of life.
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