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Important research to help women get through menopause in a healthier way

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Every third menopausal working woman experiences the negative impact of menopausal problems on her work

During menopause, many women suffer from hot flashes, poor sleep or an increased risk of osteoporosis. Sometimes there is a hidden absence from work. Amsterdam UMC is leading extensive research aimed at helping women get through menopause in a healthier way.
Peter Bisschop, professor of clinical endocrinology at UMC Amsterdam, will lead the MenoPause Consortium for the next eight years: “With this research, we want to, for example, bring cognitive behavioral and lifestyle interventions into care and treatment plans. We also want to be able to predict which women are at higher risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, so that we can better treat this group of women and prevent disease. The research should ultimately lead to healthier and more productive years for all menopausal women. “We envision a society where every woman can live optimally and participate in society at all stages of her life. To achieve this, we want to make the transition as smooth as possible for the more than 1.5 million women in the Netherlands who are going through menopause.”

Dorenda van Dijken, gynecologist and former president of the Dutch Menopause Society: “This research is made possible by a grant of 9.4 million euros from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). We hope that menopausal women will have a healthier life.” Van Dijken says that doctors, researchers, lifestyle experts and women going through menopause will gather for the study, and together they will map the consequences of menopause for different groups of women. They also find out how to best prevent the consequences of menopause. .

Sleep, health and work
The consortium studies three themes: “sleep and mental health”, “physical health” and “work”. About half of menopausal women experience difficulty falling asleep, waking up at night and unable to fall asleep again. Women also sleep worse due to hot flashes and night sweats. Four out of five women suffer from this at some point during menopause. Lack of sleep increases the risk of depression in women. They also have an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Bisschop: “We want to understand why these disorders arise. We want to use this knowledge to develop tailored, preferably preventive measures. These disorders also affect the working life of these women.”

Menopause complaints and work
Every third menopausal working woman experiences the negative impact of menopausal problems on her work. Women with multiple menopausal symptoms feel less able to work, are more often exhausted after work, and report more frequent illness. Van Dijken: “It is not yet known enough which menopause causes absences and which women have an increased risk of problems. We are going to figure this out.” Bisschop adds: “And we will also go to employers.” The consortium wants to answer the question of how to best support working women in the workplace during menopause.

Get rid of the taboo
The 9.4 million euros will also finance a campaign in cooperation with Women Inc. The campaign should make the transition more open for discussion in society. “So that we see transition as more normal and it becomes less taboo,” Bisschop concludes.

Source: Amsterdam UMC

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