The National Menopause Foundation has announced the launch of the Women’s Midlife Health Policy Institute (WMHPI), an initiative aimed at improving research, education, and policy development focused on women’s health during midlife, specifically addressing the challenges of menopause.
In the United States, about 1.3 million women enter menopause each year, and by 2025, the number of postmenopausal women worldwide is expected to reach 1.1 billion. This context underscores the need for dedicated attention to this phase of women’s health.
“Despite the prevalence and impact of menopause, there is a lack of research, education, and resources dedicated to addressing menopause-related health issues, and many women feel underserved and unsupported in navigating this life stage,” said Claire Gill, founder and president, the National Menopause Foundation. “The WMHPI will coordinate a collective policy agenda that amplifies the needs of women at midlife and targets united action among stakeholders to inspire policy that can have a systemic impact on improving women’s health.”
The necessity for such an initiative is further emphasized by findings from studies like the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN), initiated in 1994. This research reveals differences in menopausal symptoms and health risks among different racial and ethnic groups. For example, Black women report more severe symptoms such as heavy bleeding and vasomotor symptoms, Hispanic women have higher incidences of metabolic syndrome and mood disorders, and Non-Hispanic Caucasian women are more prone to low bone density.
To establish priorities and align efforts, the WMHPI plans to convene a group of women’s health advocates, thought leaders, and clinicians in early 2024. Their goal is to create a white paper outlining critical areas for improving the everyday health of women at midlife and beyond.
The National Menopause Foundation, founded in 2019, focuses on raising awareness and understanding of menopause through education, activism, and community building. The Foundation aims to inform and support women as they approach and journey through menopause, contributing to a change in public awareness and perception of this life stage.