Women are now 51% of all high paying and professional and related occupations and their numbers are growing. As their ages increase, more and more women in menopause and beyond are working. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 68 million women make up half the US work force.
Women over 45 have the highest incidence of absence due to sickness, and women around the age of 51 years had the highest annual decline in their ability to work. Much of this is thought directly or indirectly due to menopause. In particular, those with severe hot flashes and sleep disturbances were at highest risk.
All of this is associated with the decline in the use of estrogen that happened starting in 2002 with the publication of the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) which showed an increase risk of breast cancer, blood clots and stroke with the use of estrogen.
I’ve commented in one of my videos about how recent findings show the risks of estrogen or hormone therapy (HT) are actually much less in women who take estrogen only, particularly when they start it at a younger age.
Before the WHI study, nearly 40% of post menopausal women were taking HT. Now less than 15% are and this may be a major reason why there is so much loss of work – and loss of sleep.
The good news is that knowing this, if you have symptoms of menopause and it is affecting your work and quality of life, see your doctor and discuss your symptoms.
It can change your ability to work and the quality of your life. Click here for a free sleep diary to see if you are getting enough sleep.