We aimed to determine how menopausal transition symptoms cluster across 216 midlife women with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndromes (FMS/CFS), or both and subsequently to compare symptom factor severity scores by menopausal status among these women and compare symptom reporting with prior community-based samples of women without obvious illness. We designed a cross-sectional telephone survey of 216 women aged 35 to 55, diagnosed with FMS/CFS, symptomatic in the prior 6 months, and without hysterectomy. Thirty-six of 61 symptoms loaded on five factors: aroused/anxious mood, depressed mood/withdrawal, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal (GI), and vasomotor. Peri- and postmenopausal women had higher symptom severity scores for musculoskeletal, GI, and vasomotor factors but not mood factors. Symptoms for the women we studied who had FMS/CFS clustered similar to those in previous community-based samples of midlife women without major illness; however, the number of women experiencing symptoms was much higher among our sample.
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