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Are you menopausal? Pre-menopausal? Post-menopausal? Are you the partner, offspring, sibling or friend of someone who is?

Then take the time to read this comprehensive, cutting-edge report, first of its kind, from The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), published today online.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, NAMS has compiled a set of key points and clinical recommendations for the care of midlife women.

The report covers everything from hormones to SSRIs to wrinkles to sleep disturbances to libido.

Some of the observations and recommendations:

Natural menopause occurs at approximately age 52 years.

Bariatric surgery should be considered for women with a BMI of 40 or higher or a BMI greater than 35 with other health issues who have failed conservative measures.

Hair changes, including hair loss and excessive hair growth, are common during the menopause transition. So are dry eyes.

By the year 2025, the number of postmenopausal women is expected to rise to 1.1 billion worldwide.

Approximately 50 per cent of midlife women report urinary incontinence, but embarrassment and lack of awareness about effective treatment options prevent many women from seeking treatment.

Hot flashes occur in up to 75 per cent of women. Although most women experience them for 6 months to 2 years, some women may experience bothersome hot flashes for 10 years or longer.

Primary sleep disorders of insomnia, sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome are common in midlife women. Sleep disturbance is a common symptom of clinical
depression, which occurs more frequently during the menopause transition.

Symptoms of poor concentration, poor memory, and trouble multitasking are common during the menopause transition and early post-menopause. Memory performance and processing speed decline slightly during the menopausal transition but appear to return to premenopausal levels after menopause.

Hormone therapy does not substantially affect memory, attention or higher order cognitive skills.

Baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1965) are at the highest risk of hepatitis C infection, with infection rates five times that of other birth cohorts.

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