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Early menopause can push women out of the workforce: study


Photo: Tara Moore/gettyimages

Oulu, Finland — Premature menopause can limit how long women stay in the workforce, results of a recent study by Finnish researchers shows.

From 5% to 10% of women experience menopause before age 45, according to The Menopause Society. The adverse effects of menopause, including hot flashes and night sweats, have been linked to impaired quality of life and well-being at work. Menopause also can lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and musculoskeletal pain.

The researchers surveyed nearly 2,700 women who participated in Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 study’s 46-year follow-up in 2012. Findings show that the women who went through early menopause had higher rates of disability and unemployment days during a two-year follow-up, along with a higher seven-year disability retirement rate.

The researchers recommend that employers consider making work conditions more flexible for women experiencing menopause transition to help them manage symptoms and limit the risks leaving the workforce early.

“These findings reinforce the importance of addressing bothersome menopause symptoms to optimize a woman’s quality of life, both personally and professionally,” Stephanie Faubion, medical director for The Menopause Society, said in a press release.

The study was published online in the society’s journal Menopause.

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