Sexual dysfunction, depression, and anxiety among patients of an inner-city menopause clinic.

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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence of female sexual dysfunction (FSD) in a sample comprising women of mostly Hispanic descent and low socioeconomic status (SES).

METHODS: Demographic data and symptoms related to sexuality were analyzed from 102 women who consecutively came to the Women's Life Center at Hartford Hospital (2004-2008). FSD was defined as decreased sexual desire, dyspareunia, or vaginal dryness; depression as one positive response to a validated three-question screening instrument; and anxiety as a positive response to whether the patient experiences anxiety sometimes or often.

RESULTS: The cohort was 52.9 ± 6.8 years of age (mean ± standard deviation [SD]) and 80.0% Hispanic, and 47.8% were unemployed. The majority (92.8%) earned < $25,000, and most (95.8%) did not have a college degree. The prevalence of FSD was 75.6%. The prevalence of depression was 80.9% vs. 52.8% (p = 0.01) and that of anxiety was 76.6% vs. 45.7% (p = 0.01) among women with vs. without a decrease in sexual desire. The prevalence of depression was 83.3% vs. 55.9% (p = 0.03) and that of anxiety was 76.7% vs. 52.9% (p = 0.07) among women who reported dyspareunia vs. those who did not. Problems sleeping was the only variable associated with a statistically higher likelihood of FSD (odds ratio [OR] 5.57, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.22-25.33, p = 0.03). No significant differences were seen when comparing FSD between Hispanics and non-Hispanics.

CONCLUSIONS: This sample of predominantly Hispanic women of low SES had a high prevalence of FSD. These data also suggest that poor sleep is significantly associated with FSD and that women of low SES with FSD may have a significantly higher prevalence of depression and anxiety.

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Journal of women's health (2002)





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