SAGE Journals

Well-being at midlife: Correlates of mental health in ambulatory menopausal women with multiple sclerosis

Posted on 2023-09-17 - 12:07

A majority of women with multiple sclerosis (MS) are diagnosed prior to menopause, yet their experiences during this transition are not well characterized.


To explore associations between mental health, sleep, and other quality of life metrics, and vasomotor symptoms (VMSs) in ambulatory, menopausal women with MS.


A secondary analysis was performed of baseline data from two trials enrolling ambulatory peri/postmenopausal women with MS: NCT02710214 (N = 24, bothersome VMS) and NCT04002934 (ongoing, N = 35, myelin repair). Measures analyzed were 36-Item Short-Form Survey (SF-36) (primary scale: general mental health), subjective sleep quality (Pittsburg Sleep Quality Index), VMS (daily diary, interference), mood (Center for Epidemiologist Studies—Depression Scale (CES-D)), walking impairment (timed 25-foot walk (T25FW)), and global disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)).


Participants’ characteristics (N = 59) were: mean age 51.8 years (SD = 3.4), mean disease duration 11.3 years (SD = 7.6), median EDSS 3.0 (IQR = 2.0–4.0). Mental health was associated with better sleep quality (rho = −0.41, p = 0.019) and better mood (rho = −0.75, p < 0.001), but not with EDSS or T25FW (rho < 0.20, p > 0.10). Worse sleep quality also correlated with more frequent VMS (rho = 0.41, p = 0.02) and VMS interference (rho = 0.59, p < 0.001).


Findings suggest that optimizing sleep quality, mood, and hot flash quantity/interference could substantially improve mental health in menopausal women with MS—and highlight an important care gap in this population.


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Multiple Sclerosis Journal


Denisse Morales-Rodriguez
Annika Anderson
Alyssa Nylander
Stephanie Hsu
Jessica Singh
Will Rowles
Christine M Walsh
Tiffany J Braley
Riley Bove
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