Health That Shapes Health: The Menopause and Changes in Health Behaviours

Maria Herica La Valle , University of Southampton
Andrew "Amos" R. Channon, University of Southampton
Heini E. Vaisanen, University of Southampton

The paper uses data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) to investigate whether menopause can be defined as a teachable moment for health behaviours change. Also, the study examines age at menopause in order to verify whether to experiencing menopause at one age or earlier/later is linked to the risk of behaving healthier. Two behaviours are focused on, frequency of alcohol use and frequency of physical activity engagement, and two analyses are carried out. The first examines the link between the changes in behaviours and the experience of menopause itself. It uses two pairs of consecutive waves of ELSA (waves 1-2 and 3-4) and considers two groups of women: those experiencing menopause between baseline and follow-up and those still having a period at follow- up. The second analysis aims at assessing whether age at menopause matters as well. All ELSA waves are used, and only women who experienced menopause over data collection and were interviewed both when having their last period and at the following wave are selected. Multinomial logistic regression models are run to conduct both the analyses. Very preliminary results show a link between menopause and physical activity, while no association seems to exist between menopause and alcohol use. In the next steps of the analysis, the focus will be on drinking behaviour and on the variable alcohol consumption, which will be combined with the variable alcohol frequency.

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 Presented in Session 79. Health, Wellbeing and Morbidity