Objective : To determine the self -reported prevalence and severity of climacteric symptoms of estrogen deficiency in nursing personnel working in Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital during the year 2002.
Design : Cross-sectional descriptive study
Setting : Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University.
Subject : Six-hundred and eight nursing personnel, including professional nurses and practical nurses, aged 40-60 years, working in Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.
Material and Method : The same sets of questionnaires were provided and distributed to each subject. Subjects had self assessment under individual decision with written consent and data was prospectively collected. The data were analyzed using software SPSS version 10 and presented in frequencies and percentage.
Main outcome measure : The prevalence and severity of each climacteric symptoms.
Results : Five-hundred and seventy five of 608 subjects (94.6%) responded to the questionnaires, 62.6% of them were in normal reproductive period, while the remainder (37.4%) were in the menopausal period. The latter group was divided into 4 subgroups of pre/peri-menopause, post menopause, surgical menopause and premature ovarian failure. The prevalence of climacteric symptoms was systematically classified as follows, vasomotor instability 40.7% (severe cases; 5.4%), psychosomatic symptoms 50.9% (severe cases; 3.9%), lower urinary tract symptoms 29.1% (severe cases; 2.4%), lower genital tract symptoms 34.0% (severe cases; 2.7%), and other symptoms 50.7% (severe cases; 4.3%). The first five most common symptoms were as follows, forgetful 84.1% (severe cases; 7.9%), myalgia 74.3%( severe cases; 10.6%), anxious 71.0%(severe cases; 5.3%), tired 70.0% (severe cases; 4.1%), headache 68.3% (severe cases; 8.3%). The least common symptom was needle pain, the prevalence was 19.7% (severe cases 1.3%). The overall prevalence of women using hormone replacement therapy was 13.1%, only 8.9% were current users.
Conclusion : Focusing on each symptom of climacteric symptoms, the authors found high prevalence in psychosomatic symptoms and other symptoms such as forgetful, myalgia, anxious, tired and headache. While the classic symptom (vasomotor instability) was found to be low in the present study which was different from the previous reports. This may be due to the racial or cultural and educational factors among different populations