Open Access Research article

Relationship between menopause and health-related quality of life in middle-aged Chinese women: a cross-sectional study

Kuo Liu1, Liu He2, Xun Tang1, Jinwei Wang1, Na Li3, Yiqun Wu1, Roger Marshall4, Jingrong Li5, Zongxin Zhang5, Jianjiang Liu3, Haitao Xu3, Liping Yu3 and Yonghua Hu1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China

2 Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China

3 Fangshan District Bureau of Health, Beijing, China

4 Department of Statistics, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

5 The First Hospital of Fangshan District, Beijing, China

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BMC Women's Health 2014, 14:7  doi:10.1186/1472-6874-14-7

Published: 10 January 2014



Chinese menopausal women comprise a large population and the women in it experience menopausal symptoms in many different ways. Their health related quality of life (HRQOL) is not particularly well studied. Our study intends to evaluate the influence of menopause on HRQOL and explore other risk factors for HRQOL in rural China.


An interview study was conducted from June to August 2010 in Beijing based on cross-sectional design. 1,351 women aged 40–59 were included in the study. HRQOL was measured using the EuroQol Group’s 5-domain (EQ5D) questionnaire. Comparison of HRQOL measures (EQ5D index and EQ5D-VAS scores) was done between different menopausal groups. Logistic regression and multiple regression analysis were performed to adjust potential confounders and explore other risk factors for health problems and HRQOL measures.


Postmenopausal women who had menopause for 2–5 years (+1b stage) were more likely to suffer mobility problems (OR = 1.835, p = 0.008) after multiple adjustment. Menopause was also related to impaired EQ5D index and EQ5D-VAS scores after adjustment for age. Among menopausal groups categorized by menopausal duration, a consistent decrement in EQ5D index and EQ5D-VAS scores, that is, worsening HRQOL, was observed (p < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis revealed low education level and physical activity were associated with EQ5D index (β = -0.080, p = 0.003, and β = 0.056, p = 0.040, respectively). Cigarette smoking and chronic disease were associated with EQ5D index (β = -0.135, p < 0.001 and β = -0.104, p < 0.001, respectively) and EQ5D-VAS (β = -0.057, P = 0.034 and β = -0.214, p < 0.001, respectively).


Reduction in physical function was found within the first five years after menopause. Worsening EQ5D index and EQ5D-VAS scores were related to menopause. Education level, physical activity, cigarette smoking, and chronic disease history were associated with HRQOL in middle aged Chinese rural women.