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Cognitive Performance During Menopause Transition Examined

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Key Takeaways

  • Measures of cognitive performance show decline from premenopause to later menopause stages among low-income women of color.
  • The overall sample of women of color and women with HIV showed longitudinal declines in continuous measures of learning, memory, and attention/working memory domains.
  • Effects on those same domains were evident, with increased odds of impairment varying from 41% to 215% from premenopaue to postmenopause.

HealthDay News–Measures of cognitive performance show decline from premenopause to later menopause stages among low-income women of color, according to a study published in Menopause.

Pauline M. Maki, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues examined longitudinal changes in cognitive performance across menopause stages in a sample of 443 low-income women of color (69% African American and 18% Hispanic), including women with HIV (WWH). Tests of verbal learning and memory, attention/working memory, processing speed, verbal fluency, motor skills, and executive function were completed at an index premenopausal visit and every 2 years thereafter for up to 6 visits (mean follow-up, 5.7 years).

The researchers found that the overall sample and WWH showed longitudinal declines in continuous measures of learning, memory, and attention/working memory domains from premenopause to early perimenopause and from premenopause to postmenopause after adjustment for age and relevant covariates. In categorical scores of cognitive impairment, effects on those same domains were evident, with increased odds of impairment varying from 41% to 215%. The increase ranged from 4% to 13% in predicted probability of impairment by menopausal stage.

“It will be important in future studies to identify which factors account for individual differences in cognitive declines associated with the menopause,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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