Clusters of midlife women identified by cognitive symptoms.
OBJECTIVES:The study aimed to identify clusters of midlife women by their cognitive symptoms and to examine racial/ethnic differences in the clusters. STUDY DESIGN:This secondary analysis was conducted on the data from 1054 midlife women of multi-ethnic groups in two Internet studies (conducted from 2005 to 2013). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Only the data from the questions on background characteristics, health status, and menopausal status and the Cognitive Symptom Index for Midlife Women were used for this secondary analysis. The data were analyzed using factor analyses, hierarchical cluster analyses, chi-square tests, multinomial logistic analyses, and analyses of covariance. RESULTS:Four clusters were extracted: the low total symptom group (Cluster 1; 49.9%), the low-moderate total symptom group with high tertiary symptoms (Cluster 2; 17.3%), the high-moderate total symptom group with low tertiary symptoms (Cluster 3; 21.2%); and the high total symptom group (Cluster 4; 11.7%). There were significant differences in the level of education, employment status, family income, marital status, social support, the country of birth, race/ethnicity, body mass index, perceived general health, diagnosed disease(s), access to health care, and menopausal status among the clusters (p < .01). There were significant racial/ethnic differences in the total numbers and total severity scores of tertiary symptoms in Cluster 1. Also, there were significant racial/ethnic differences in individual symptoms in each cluster. CONCLUSIONS:Racial/ethnic differences in midlife women's cognitive symptoms and multiple factors that might differently influence their cognitive symptoms need to be considered in health care for midlife women in menopausal transition.
Im, E-O; Hu, Y; Cheng, C-Y; Ko, Y; Chee, E; Chee, W
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