Síntomas en la menopausia y el cuidad de los nietos. Informe preliminar

Rosalinda García Campos, Herlinda Aguilar Zavala, Juan Manuel Malacara Hernández


Introduction: Menopause is a physiological event restricted to human beings. Women last a long post-reproductive period with symptoms that deteriorates their quality of life. The adaptive value of menopause has been attributed to its role as grandmother helping in grandchildren’s care. The selective influence of a reproductive conflict between generations has been also proposed. We considered important to investigate a possible relationship of symptoms at menopause and women’s role with the care of grandchildren.

Methods: We carried out a cross sectional epidemiological study in 386 women 55 to 75 years old. Data collection included anthropometry, gyneco-obstetric antecedents, socioeconomic level, relationship with children and grandchildren, and symptoms: hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of sexual interest, depression, anxiety, non specific symptoms of depression (NSSD) and the empty nest syndrome (ENS). Glucose, cholesterol, estradiol, and FSH were measured in a fasting blood sample.

Results: The mean age of volunteers was 63 years, 47.7 years since menopause, 5.6 children and 13.1 grandchildren. Higher scores for loss of sexual interest were found in women who convene frequently with their grandchildren and participate in their care. The lower scores for the ENS were reported by the group without children or without links with their grandchildren. The group without grandchildren had lower scores for NSSD. In the Síntomas en la menopausia y el cuidado de los nietos Revista Electrónica Nova Scientia, Nº1 Vol. 1 (1), 2008. ISSN 2007 - 0705. pp: 18-32 - 21 - analysis of factors associated with symptoms, age was inversely associated with hot flashes and anxiety; schooling showed an inverse relationship with hot flashes, depression, anxiety, and ENS. The body mass index was negatively associated with vaginal dryness, the loss of sexual interest and NSSD. Hot flashes increased with exercise. FSH was negatively associated with the loss of sexual interest. In regard to family dynamics, the number of children was negatively associated with depression. Meanwhile, the number of grandchildren and collaboration in their care was positively correlated with loss of sexual interest, depression, NSSD and ENS.

Conclusions: we confirmed the association of symptoms at menopause with age, schooling and obesity. Higher scores of symptoms in women who convene and take care of grandchildren indicated that the grandmother’s role has a physical and emotional cost


menopause; grandmother hypothesis; depression; hot flashes; socioeconomic level


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21640/ns.v1i1.241


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