Science-- there's something for everyone

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hot flashes can persist for years after menopause

This was the unfortunate conclusion of a study conducted by scientists from King’s College London and from the Gynecological Cancer Research Centre.  If you are in the majority of women who will suffer from either hot flashes (HF) or night sweats (NS) during menopause, you may have over a decade of symptoms to look forward to.

The researchers sent questionnaires to 15,000 post-menopausal women, asking them about their menopausal symptoms.  Of the over 10,000 respondents, 90% had experienced HF and/or NS on a regular basis, and over half of them were still experiencing those symptoms even though it had been an average of ten years since they went through menopause.

There are factors that can affect the severity of menopausal symptoms.  Smoking, alcohol consumption, anxiety and weight all have negative effects on menopause.  That’s no surprise.  What's disconcerting is that the symptoms last for so long. 

Health professionals need to be aware that women can still have hot flushes and night sweats in their late 50s and 60s.