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Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of physical, psychological, and menopause-related symptoms and their association with minor psychiatric disorders in premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women.

Methods: This was a nested cross-sectional study. Demographic characteristics, education, and climacteric symptoms were investigated. The 20-item Self-Reporting Questionnaire was used to screen for minor psychiatric disorders, with a score of 8 or higher indicating positive screening.

Results: We studied 324 Brazilian women aged 36 to 62 years (86 premenopausal women, 156 perimenopausal women, and 82 postmenopausal women). Mean (SD) age was 44.8 (3.6), 46.3 (4.6), and 53.3 (3.8) years, respectively (P < 0.001); 52.4% had 8 years or less of schooling (whereas 22.8% had 4 years or less). Forty-five (28.8%) perimenopausal women and 32 (39%) postmenopausal women were users of hormone therapy; 15 (17.4%) and 21 (13.5%) premenopausal and perimenopausal participants, respectively, were users of oral contraceptives. Hormone therapy and oral contraceptive users were excluded from the analysis of symptom prevalence. Hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness were more prevalent among perimenopausal women (P < 0.001). Fatigue was the most frequent complaint in all groups (61%, 81%, and 88% in premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women, respectively). The variables most frequently associated with positive findings during the screening for minor psychiatric disorders were very low education level and memory loss and irritability. Classic vasomotor complaints were weakly associated with nonpsychotic disease. In turn, perimenopausal women, but not postmenopausal women, were at greater risk of minor psychiatric disorders.

Conclusions: Low education level, memory loss, irritability, and the menopausal transition represent risk factors for positive findings in a screening for minor psychiatric disorders.

(C)2012The North American Menopause Society