East Coast Women Are More Likely to Be Untreated for Menopause

OCTOBER 05, 2016
Caitlyn Fitzpatrick
women’s health, OBGYN, sex, sexual health, The North American Menopause Society 27th Annual Meeting, NAMS 2016, weight, obesity, hot flashes, muscle pain, joint pain, urogenital, urinary, geography, United States, east coast, west coast

Geography, age, and time are factors that contribute to the likelihood that a woman is being treated for menopause, according to new research out of Pfizer Inc.

Not all women need to be treated for menopausal symptoms – such as hot flashes, insomnia, and vaginal issues – simply because they aren’t particularly bothersome. But for those who could benefit from treatment, many of them do not seek physician assistance. Presented at The North American Menopause Society 27th Annual Meeting (NAMS 2016) in Orlando, Florida, researchers aimed to identify patterns of women who are untreated for menopause.

From 2008 to 2012, 209,548 women at least 45 years of age were analyzed for study inclusion. A total of 43,237 women (20.6%) were diagnosed with menopause during that period. Of those, 22,639 women (52.4%) were not treated with either of the hormone therapies venlafaxine or paroxetine. Looking at the results from a demographic standpoint, there were more women in the Northeast who were untreated when compared to those in the western portion (4,028 women (61.3%) vs. 4,343 women (48.4%)).

In addition, more of the older women, 65 years and older, in the cohort were untreated when compared to the younger group, 45 to 49 years (56.9% vs. 50.2%).

“Lack of studied treatments also showed directional increase by year, with the later years from the study period (2011/2012) showing a higher proportion of menopausal women untreated,” the report explained.

The takeaway message here is that there are differences in women treated for menopause based on geography, age, and time. The researchers said that more evidence is needed to better understand the factors influencing the lack of treatment. Uncovering that information could help open the conversation about menopause between physicians and patients.

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