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Older women still suffer from hot flushes and night sweats years after the menopause finds study
Date:10/19/2011

Women still have hot flushes and night sweats years after the menopause finds a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Hot flushes and night sweats (HF/NS) are the main physical signs of the menopause, however their prevalence, frequency, severity and duration vary considerably.

The average age of the menopause in US and European women is 50-51 years and it is generally assumed that HF/NS last between 2 to 5 years.

This study looked at 10,418 postmenopausal women (defined as more than 12 months amenorrhea or hormone replacement therapy commenced for menopausal symptoms) aged between 54 and 65.

The average age of the participating women was 59 and the majority were white, living in urban localities and of slightly above average socioeconomic status.

The study looked at the impact of age, BMI, hysterectomy, hormone therapy use, lifestyle and mood on women's experience of HF/NS.

The participating women completed a questionnaire, which included sociodemographics, weight and height, and medical history. Three and a half years later, they were sent a follow up questionnaire asking them about lifestyle factors, skirt size at age 20, current skirt size, hot flushes and night sweats and current hormone therapy (HT) use.

The majority (89.6%) of women had experienced HF/NS at some time, more women having had hot flushes (86%) than night sweats (78%). However, over half (54%) of the women were currently having HF/NS and the prevalence was fairly even across the age range. The frequency of HF/NS was 33.5 per week and this remained broadly at this level across the age range.

The study also found that factors such as previous hysterectomy, having been a smoker and higher alcohol intake helped predict women who had ever had HF/NS. Moreover, anxiety, hysterectomy, depressed mood, years since last menstrual period and (less) education helped pred
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Contact: Amy Molnar
healthnews@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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