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Age-specific symptom prevalence in women 35-64 years old: A population-based study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Family Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology.
2009 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 9, 37- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Symptom prevalence is generally believed to increase with age. The aim of this study was to evaluate the age specific prevalence of 30 general symptoms among Swedish middle-aged women. METHODS: A cross-sectional postal questionnaire study in seven Swedish counties in a random sample of 4,200 women 35-64 years old, with 2,991 responders. Thirty general symptoms included in the Complaint Score subscale of the Gothenburg Quality of Life Instrument were used. RESULTS: Four groups of age specific prevalence patterns were identified after adjustment for the influence of educational level, perceived health and mood, body mass index, smoking habits, use of hormone replacement therapy, and use of other symptom relieving therapy. Only five symptoms (insomnia, leg pain, joint pain, eye problems and impaired hearing) increased significantly with age. Eleven symptoms (general fatigue, headache, irritability, melancholy, backache, exhaustion, feels cold, cries easily, abdominal pain, dizziness, and nausea) decreased significantly with age. Two symptoms (sweating and impaired concentration) had a biphasic course with a significant increase followed by a significant decrease. The remaining twelve symptoms (difficulty in relaxing, restlessness, overweight, coughing, breathlessness, diarrhoea, chest pain, constipation, nervousness, poor appetite, weight loss, and difficulty in urinating) had stable prevalence with age. CONCLUSION: Symptoms did not necessarily increase with age instead symptoms related to stress-tension-depression decreased.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 9, 37- p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96257DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-9-37ISI: 000264288600001PubMedID: 19171031OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96257DiVA: diva2:170768
Available from: 2007-10-03 Created: 2007-10-03 Last updated: 2011-08-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Women's Health and Drug Utilization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Women's Health and Drug Utilization
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objectives. To study medication utilization and adherence to prescribed therapy in a female population in central Sweden. To study usage of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in this population and to assess how HRT users compare to non-users regarding symptom reporting, general health and other variables. To evaluate symptom prevalence adjusted for potential symptom affecting variables.

Material and methods. A cross-sectional postal questionnaire study was performed in 1995 in seven counties in central Sweden. A questionnaire was sent to a random sample of 4,200 women aged 35-64, of whom 2,991 responded (71.2%). The questionnaire contained questions on psycho-socio-economic background, quality of life, self-reported health, height and weight, climacteric symptom prevalence, and menopausal status and symptoms. It also comprised questions on medication prescribed during the past year.

Results. 40% used prescribed medication and 12% took four drugs or more. Age, educational level, self-rated health, and BMI remained significantly correlated to drug use in multivariate analysis. Adherence ranged from 15%-98% depending on age, a scheduled check-up, perceived importance of medication, concern about medication, taking cardiovascular and respiratory disease drugs. The highest adherence was found for hormonal medication the lowest for musculoskeletal medication.

HRT was used by 15% of the women. 13 % used other symptom relieving therapy. HRT users reported higher score of vasomotor symptoms, except for sweating during the daytime.

Prevalence of general symptoms did not necessarily increase with age. Especially symptoms related to stress-tension-depression decreased with age. Four different symptom prevalence patterns were found.

Conclusions. Age, health status, educational level and body mass index (BMI) appear to affect drug use. Adherence to therapy is highest among elderly women who regard their medication as important and have a scheduled check-up. HRT relieves some vasomotor symptoms but does not affect other symptoms or self-rated health. Prevalence of symptoms related to Stress-tension-depression appears to decrease with age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2007. 64 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 276
Keyword
women's health, epidemiology, drug utilisation, adherence, symptom prevalence, HRT
National Category
Family Medicine
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8225 (URN)978-91-554-6977-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-10-25, Hörsalen, Ingång D1, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 17, Uppsala, Sweden, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-10-03 Created: 2007-10-03 Last updated: 2011-05-13Bibliographically approved

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Bardel, AnnikaWallander, Mari-AnnSvärdsudd, Kurt

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