Objective To measure the impact of menopause on work ability in women with severe menopausal symptoms. Study design This cross-sectional study compared the work ability of a sample of otherwise healthy employed Dutch women (n = 205) with that of a sample of first-time attendees of a menopause clinic (n = 60); both groups were aged 44-60 years. Self-reported questionnaire data assessing work ability (Work Ability Index; WAI) and menopausal symptoms (Greene Climacteric Scale; GCS) were used. Main outcome measures Logistic regression analyses were used to examine whether women with severe menopausal symptoms were more likely to have low work ability (defined as a score <37.0 points on the WAI) than were women in the reference group, after adjustment for individual and lifestyle factors. Results Symptomatic women had significantly higher total GCS scores (mean 26.7 vs 14.2, t = 10.8, P < 0.001) and significantly lower WAI scores (median 32.0 vs 40.0, U = 2380, P < 0.001) than the reference group. They were 8.4 times more likely to report low work ability than their healthy counterparts: 76.7% versus 30.2% (OR 8.4, 95% CI 4.1-17.2). Conclusions Over three-quarters of symptomatic menopausal women report serious problems in dealing with the physical and mental demands of their work (recorded here as low work ability); hence these women might be at risk of prolonged sickness absence from work.

Absenteeism, Menopause, Occupational health, Sickness absence, Women, Work
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.05.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/85537
Maturitas
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Geukes, M, Van Aalst, M.P, Robroek, S.J.W, Laven, J.S.E, & Oosterhof, H. (2016). The impact of menopause on work ability in women with severe menopausal symptoms. Maturitas, 90, 3–8. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.05.001