Race Tied to GI Symptoms During Menopause Transition

Race and ethnicity and menopausal status significantly influence the total number and total severity scores of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms among midlife women, according to a study published online Dec. 6 in Menopause.

Eun-Ok Im, Ph.D., from Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis using data from 1,051 women participating in two internet-based studies to examine associations between race/ethnicity and menopausal status with GI symptoms experienced during the menopausal transition.

The researchers found that being Asian was a significant factor that influenced the total numbers of GI symptoms and total severity scores of GI symptoms. Premenopausal status was the strongest factor that influenced the total numbers of GI symptoms in participants of all races (Hispanics, Whites, African Americans, and Asians) and the total severity scores of GI symptoms in all participants when controlling for background characteristics and health-related factors.

“More studies on the influences of cultural factors (e.g., cultural dietary patterns and practices, defecation practices) on GI symptoms during the menopausal transition would be essential to understand the racial/ethnic differences in specific types of GI symptoms,” the authors write.

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