Attribution of menopause symptoms in human immunodeficiency virus-infected or at-risk drug-using women

Tonya M. Johnson, Hillel W. Cohen, Andrea A. Howard, Nanette Santoro, Michelle Floris-Moore, Julia H. Arnsten, Diana M. Hartel, Ellie Schoenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and attribution of menopausal symptoms. DESIGN: Peri- and postmenopausal women participating in a prospective study of HIV-infected and at-risk midlife women (the Ms. Study) were interviewed to determine whether they experienced hot flashes and/or vaginal dryness and to what they attributed these symptoms. RESULTS: Of 278 women, 70% were perimenopausal; 54% were HIV-infected; and 52% had used crack, cocaine, heroin, and/or methadone within the past 5 years. Hot flashes were reported by 189 women and vaginal dryness was reported by 101 women. Overall, 69.8% attributed hot flashes to menopause and 28.7% attributed vaginal dryness to menopause. In bivariate analyses, age 45 years and older was associated with attributing hot flashes and vaginal dryness to menopause, and postmenopausal status and at least 12 years of education were associated with attributing vaginal dryness to menopause, but HIV status was not associated with attribution to menopause. In multivariate analysis, significant interactions between age and menopause status were found for both attribution of hot flashes (P = 0.019) and vaginal dryness (P = 0.029). Among perimenopausal women, older age was independently associated with attribution to menopause for hot flashes (adjusted odds ratio = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.1-1.4, P = 0.001) and vaginal dryness (adjusted odds ratio = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.1-1.6, P = 0.011). None of the tested factors were independently associated with attribution to menopause among postmenopausal women. CONCLUSION: Tailored health education programs may be beneficial in increasing the knowledge about menopause among HIV-infected and drug-using women, particularly those who are perimenopausal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-557
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2008


  • Attribution
  • Drug use
  • HIV
  • Menopause
  • Menopause symptoms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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