Menopausal vasomotor symptoms are associated with poor self-assessed work ability Academic Article uri icon


  • It has been hypothesised that vasomotor symptoms (VMS), the hallmark of menopause, may affect women's workplace performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between VMS and self-reported work ability, taking into account socio-demographic characteristics. Study design/Main Outcome measures: A national cross-sectional survey of women, aged 40-65 years, was conducted between October 2013 and March 2014. Participants provided socio-demographic and lifestyle factors and completed the Menopause Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL) and the Work Ability Index (WAI).Of 2020 women who comprised the study sample, 1274 were in paid employment and 1263 completed the WAI. The WAI score was good-excellent for 81.5% of women and poor-moderate for 18.5%. After adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics, having any VMS was associated with greater likelihood of poor-moderate work ability [odds ratio (OR)=2.45, 95% CI 1.69-3.54]. Poorer work ability was significantly and independently associated with being un-partnered, obese or overweight, smoking, being carer and having insecure housing finance, but not with age.Overall, most women functioned well at work. We observed an association suggesting a relationship not only between menopausal VMS and personal wellbeing, but also between VMS and self-assessed work ability. Although 4 in 5 women functioned well at work, recognition of the association with VMS may improve wellbeing and work performance of working women at midlife.

publication date

  • 2016