Clinical Edge

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Menopause Symptom Burden and Chronic Pain

Menopause; ePub 2019 Mar 4; Gibson, et al

Midlife women with a higher menopause symptom burden may be most vulnerable for chronic pain, according to a recent study. The cross-sectional analysis included midlife women veterans aged 45-64 years with at least 1 VA encounter during 2014 and/or 2015 (n=200,901). Researchers developed multivariable logistic regression models to examine associations between menopause symptoms and chronic pain outcomes, adjusting for age, race, body mass index, mental health diagnoses, and substance use disorders. They found:

  • 26% of the national sample of midlife women veterans had menopause symptoms, 52% had chronic pain, and 22% had ≥2 distinct chronic pain diagnoses.
  • In multivariable analyses, women with menopause symptoms had nearly 2-fold odds of chronic pain and multiple chronic pain diagnoses (odds ratio, 1.86).


Gibson CJ, Li Y, Bertenthal D, Huang AJ, Seal KH. Menopause symptoms and chronic pain in a national sample of midlife women veterans. [Published online ahead of print March 4, 2019]. Menopause. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001312.