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Midlife Transition Tied to Decreasing Stress in Women

THURSDAY, May 3, 2018 -- Self-reported stress decreases for most women as they transition through midlife, according to a recent study published in Women's Midlife Health.

Elizabeth Hedgeman, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues assessed the longitudinal changes in perceived stress as women transitioned through midlife. Premenopausal women (3,044), ages 42 to 52 years at baseline, participating in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation at seven sites were followed approximately annually over 13 visits.

The researchers found that Hispanic women, women with lesser educational attainment, and women reporting financial hardship were all more likely to report high perceived stress levels at baseline. After adjustment for baseline sociodemographic factors, perceived stress decreased over time for most women, though it increased for both Hispanic and white participants at the New Jersey site. Perceived stress was not predicted by changing menopausal status.

"This study found that the perception of stress decreased over time for the majority of this diverse set of midlife women in the United States," the authors write.

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Posted: May 2018