Impaired health due to stress is a common cause of long-term illness in women aged 45-55?years. It is a common cause for visits to primary health care (PHC) and may influence work-ability. The aim of this study was to investigate prognostic factors for future mental, physical and urogenital health as well as work-ability in a population of average women aged 45-55?years.
This longitudinal cohort study initially assessed 142 women from PHC centers in southwestern Sweden. One houndred and ten accepted participation and were followed for 6 years. They were assessed using the self-reported questionnaires: the Menopause Rating Scale (MRS), the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS-S), the Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36). Descriptive data are presented of health, education, relationships and if they are working. Multicollinearity testing and logistic regression were used to test the explanatory variables.
Severity of symptoms in the MRS somatic and urogenital domains decreased while they increased in the psychological and depressive domains. Having tertiary education was associated with decreased overall mental health, vitality and social role functioning. Living with a partner was associated with increased physical role functioning, social role functioning and emotional role functioning.
Quality of life seems to be enhanced by a good relationship with the partner, social support and work/life balance. Therefore, to improve women health women should early discuss ways in which these issues can be incorporated as they pursue their academic or career goals. Hence, we emphasize the importance of supporting women to gain increased awareness about a healthy life balance and to have realistic goals in work as well as in their social life.