Climacteric complaints among very low-income women from a tropical region of Brazil

Sintomas climatéricos em mulheres com baixa renda de uma região tropical do Brasil

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE: Climacteric symptoms may vary between different countries and cultures. Socioeconomic factors and climate may be implicated. The aim of this study was to identify climacteric symptomatology among very low-income Brazilian women, living in a hot and humid region. DESIGN AND SETTING: This cross-sectional population-based study was conducted in Cuiabá, at Júlio Müller University Hospital, a tertiary institution. METHODS: The study enrolled 354 climacteric women. The variables analyzed were social class, symptomatology and abnormal concurrent conditions. The study was approved by the hospital's research ethics committee. RESULTS: Sixty-five percent of the participants (232/354) were very poor and had had little schooling. The number of symptoms per woman was 8.0 ± 5.7. Hot flushes, nervousness, forgetfulness and fatigue were each found in nearly 60.0%. Tearfulness, depression, melancholy and insomnia were also frequent. Sexual problems were reported by 25%. The most relevant concurrent abnormal conditions reported were hypertension (33.9%), obesity (26.5%), arthritis/arthrosis (15.0%) and diabetes mellitus (9.6%). Hot flushes were associated with tearfulness, nervousness and forgetfulness. CONCLUSION: Brazilian climacteric women of low income and low schooling present multiple symptoms. Vasomotor and psychosexual symptoms were the most prevalent disorders. Hot flushes were associated with nervousness, forgetfulness and tearfulness.

Climacteric; Social class; Hot flashes; Culture; Tropical climate

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