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The Making of Medicine

Menopause Can Hit Hard in the Workplace

JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, our director of midlife health and a world expert on menopause, has co-authored a fascinating new guide to the "change of life" that highlights menopause's far-reaching effects on a woman's life, from her workplace to her family relationships to her finances.

She and her collaborators note that moderate to severe menopause symptoms are associated with a decreased ability to perform work tasks. This decrease, in turn, is often associated with worse workplace outcomes for the women suffering them – especially Black and Hispanic women. 

The authors note that this decreased functionality tends to be particularly problematic for certain subgroups of women, including those who do not have a partner, those who smoke, those who are overweight or obese, those who serve as a caregiver and those who lack secure housing.

One survey of women in the United Kingdom found that those who reported struggling with menopause symptoms were more likely to suffer financial problems, depression and self-reported health issues, the researchers write.

“The United Kingdom is way ahead of the United States in addressing and minimizing the effects of menopause in women in the workplace,” Dr. Pinkerton said. “We need to improve our care of menopausal women both with individualized treatment options and address their needs in the workplace.” 

There's plenty more interesting info where that comes from. You can check out the new guide for free in the scientific journal Cell. The article is open access, meaning it is free to read.

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