OBJECTIVE:: The aim of the study was to clarify the prevalence and severity rates of symptoms and investigate whether symptoms varied in relation to body mass index (BMI). METHODS:: The study group composed of 1,969 women, aged 40 to 60 years, who presented at our department from 1993 through 2014. The participation rate was 98%. The presence or absence of symptoms was evaluated by having the participants complete the Keio Questionnaire, a self-administered questionnaire. To allow the results to be compared according to ovarian function, serum levels of follicle-stimulating hormone and estradiol were measured. Participants were classified into three groups according to BMI: underweight, normal weight, and overweight. Symptoms were also compared among these subgroups. RESULTS:: The most common symptom was general fatigue. Vasomotor symptoms differed significantly between pre- and postmenopause status. When symptoms were analyzed according to BMI, the severity rates of the following symptoms were significantly higher in the overweight group than in the normal weight and underweight groups: hot flushes, sweats, joint pain, numbness, and incontinence. On the contrary, the underweight group had significantly higher severities of cold constitution, nervousness, and wrinkled skin than did the other groups. In addition, an increase in BMI was associated with an increased severity of vasomotor symptoms. CONCLUSIONS:: The prevalence and severities of shoulder stiffness, considered a characteristic symptom in Japanese women, were high. Increased BMI was shown to be associated with a higher severity of vasomotor symptoms, joint pain, nervousness, and urinary symptoms.
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