Middle-aged women 'feel less stress'

New research has suggested that the common belief that middle age is a difficult time for women may be untrue. 

A new study by postdoctoral student Elizabeth Hedgeman at the University of Michigan, US, indicated that perceived stress - defined as the capacity to cope with life's stressors along with confidence and control levels - actually improved for most women during this period. 

She stated: "Our perception of stress decreased even through the menopausal transition, which suggests that menopause isn't a great bugaboo, perhaps in relation to the other events or experiences that we're having in the midlife."

The study, based on data collected from 3,000 women aged between 42 and 53, also revealed that there was no link between the menopause and stress levels. 

A further finding was that the reduction in stress was largely independent of ethnic and cultural differences. The exception was among Japanese women, who saw stress levels fall by less than black, white and Chinese women. 

The findings also suggested women from poorer economic backgrounds endured less stress, although the fall was not as substantial as it was for those of greater wealth.ADNFCR-2094-ID-801846397-ADNFCR