Age at Natural Menopause and Factors Influencing its Timing in a Sample of Iraqi Women In Baghdad

Abstract

Aim of the study: This study was an attempt to determine the age at natural menopause and factors influencing its timing in a sample of Iraqi women in Baghdad.Subjects & Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted during the period extending from 12th of November 2006 to the 1st of April 2007. Five hundred women with age range of 46-57 years were included in the study. The data were collected by direct interview using a questionnaire which was constructed to collect information about some sociodemographic, reproductive and lifestyle variables, weight and height were measured for each woman and the body mass index was calculated. The study was carried out in Al-Sadder general hospital (Al-Qadisyia hospital), Fatema Al-Zahraa hospital (Al-Habibiya hospital) and Al- Rafidain bank/main branch in Baghdad.Results: The result of the study shows that the mean age at menopause was 47.96 years and the median was 48 years. Out of the 500 women who represent the whole sample, 210 (42%) of them were at natural menopause .About three quarters (79%) of the sample were either illiterate or had elementary education. Regarding the relation of socioeconomic status to the age at menopause, educational level and occupational status of both women and their husbands were significantly associated with age at menopause. Concerning the relation of some reproductive characteristics to the age at menopause, the study shows that the mean age at menopause for nullipara and grandmultipara were later than those women with 1- 4 children (47.4±3.7, 48.3± 4.0 and 45.7± 4.3 respectively) and these differences were statistically significant. All other variables (such as marital status, handedness, body mass index, age at menarche, and regularity of period, didn’t show significant relation with age at menopause. Conclusion: Average age of Menopause was 47.96 years. Socioeconomic status, educational level occupational status, and parity were statistically associated with age of MenopauseKey Words: Menopause, Average age