Background and objectives The aim of this study was to study

Background and objectives The aim of this study was to study the role of menopausal status and physical activity on quality of life. 386750-22-7 and postmenopausal women increased their physical activity (28% and 27%) during the eight-year follow up period slightly more often than premenopausal (18%) women (p = 0.070). Menopausal status was not significantly correlated with change of 386750-22-7 QoL. QoL of the most highly educated women was more likely to improve than among the less educated (eb = 1.28, 95%CI 1.08 to 1 1.51 p = 0.002). Women whose physical activity increased or remained stable had greater chances for improved QoL than women whose physical activity decreased (eb = 1.49, 95%CI 1.23 p < 0.001 to 1 1.80, eb = 1.46, 95%CI 1.24 to 1 1.73 p < 0.001 respectively). Women whose weight remained stable during follow-up also improved their QoL compared to women who gained weight (eb = 1.26, 95%CI 1.07 to 1 1.50 p > 0.01). Women who had never used HRT had 1.26 greater odds for improved QoL (95%CI 1.02 to 1 1.56 p = < 0.05). Conclusion Improvement of global QoL is correlated with stable or increased physical activity, stable weight and high education, but not with change in menopausal status. Keywords: Menopause, physical activity, longitudinal study Background Women experience menopause between 40 and 58 years of age, the median age being 51 years [1]. Menopause is also a time of life with many symptoms and poor health status, which affect quality of life [2,3]. Menopause is also associated with a number of IL8RA physical, psychological and social changes [4]. Many studies have found that the menopause is associated with deteriorating quality of life (QoL) [5]. Menopause may be accompanied by health problems with decreasing estrogen levels with symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness. In a number of studies menopausal symptoms have been reported to be associated with quality of life indicators [6]. On the other hand there are also study results indicating that well-being is not associated with menopausal status per se but is associated with current health status [7]. Physical activity has been shown also to enhance quality of life among menopausal women [8, 9] and some studies suggest that physical activity is associated with a decrease of hot flushes [10,11]. The effect of physical activity in decreasing hot flushes has been explained by -endorphin theory. It is known that increase of hypothalamic -endorphin production may stabilize thermoregulation known to be disturbed during menopausal hot flushes[12]. Physical activity may help in controlling body weight, which is associated with more frequent vasomotor symptom reporting [10,13]. It has been shown that weight gain in midlife is not specifically related to menopause but to aging [14-16], and gaining weight may impair quality of life [16,17]. The question whether menopausal transition could be considered as ‘window of opportunity’, i.e. whether there is any lifestyle modification during menopausal transition, is left open. Our aim was 386750-22-7 to study the role of physical activity and menopausal status in change in quality of life among menopausal women. Methods The baseline data come from a health examination study entitled Health 2000. This was carried out in Finland between 2000 and 2001 and has been described in detail elsewhere [18,19]. A nationally representative two-stage stratified cluster sample was drawn of adults aged 30 and over and living in mainland Finland. A total of 7,419 subjects (93% of the 7,977 subjects originally drawn from the population register) participated in one or more phases of the study. Data collection 386750-22-7 included an extensive home interview, three self-administered questionnaires and a clinical examination by a physician. The response rate for the home interview was 87.6% and for the first self-administered questionnaire 84.4% among the whole study population. The response rate among women aged 45-64 years at baseline was 86.6%. In 2008 all respondents who were 37-56 years old in 2000 (45-64 years old in 2008) were sent a mailed questionnaire. After three reminders the overall response rate was 82.2% (n = 1,239). Of the respondents, 1 239 women who had responded both to the home interview and to the self-administered questionnaire were included into this study (n = 1,165). In the 8-year follow-up study most of the questions and indicators were similar to those in the baseline Health 2000 study (menopausal status, symptoms list, quality of life, general health, coping at work). Variables Menopausal status and transition category Women with a normal, regular menstrual cycle during the past 12 months were classified as premenopausal, women with an irregular menstrual cycle during the past 12 months as perimenopausal, and women whose last menstrual cycle had occurred more than 12 months ago as postmenopausal regardless whether HRT was used or not. Three menopause transition categories were defined as: 1) premenopause at both baseline 386750-22-7 and follow-up (pre-pre), 2) transition from premenopause to peri- or postmenopause (pre-peri/post) and 3) perimenopause or postmenopause baseline and.