The prevalence of menopausal symptoms in a community in Singapore

Harvey Chim, Bee Huat Iain Tan, Chun Ang Chia, Ee Ming Darryl Chew, Seng Chong Yap, Mei Saw Seang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe the prevalence and severity of menopausal symptoms experienced by Singaporean women aged 40-60, and to elucidate social and lifestyle factors associated with these symptoms, as well as the average age of menopause. Methods: A population based prevalence survey was carried out on a representative sample of 495 Singaporean women aged 40-60 to determine the prevalence of 17 symptoms commonly associated with the menopause and the mean age of menopause. Results: The participant rate was 69.3%; mean age of participants was 49.0 years (range=40-59 years) with a racial distribution of 84.3% Chinese, 8.3% Malay and 7.4% Indian. Classical menopausal symptoms such as, hot flushes (17.6%), vaginal dryness (20.7%) and night sweats (8.9%) were less commonly reported than somatic symptoms. The most prevalent symptom reported was low backache with aching muscles and joints (51.4%). Perimenopausal women (n=124) experienced a significantly higher prevalence of vasomotor, urogenital and psychological symptoms compared with pre-perimenopausal (n=178) and post-perimenopausal women (n=133). There was no correlation found between menopausal status and somatic symptoms or depression. The mean age of menopause was 49.1 years (range=40-58 years). High educational level was associated with an earlier onset of menopause. Conclusion: The prevalence of classical menopausal symptoms in the local population was low compared with studies on Caucasian women. The mean age of menopause was 49.1 years. This is consistent with findings of other Asian studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 25 2002


  • Menopause
  • Perimenopausal
  • Postmenopausal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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