Hot Flashes: 7 Years and Counting

MedPage Today

February 2015 - Some women experienced hot flashes and night sweats for more than 7 years during menopausal transition, researchers reported.

Among a diverse group of women in the U.S. who reported a high frequency of symptoms, vasomotor symptoms (VMS) persisted for a median of 7.4 years, with a median of 4.5 years of symptoms after final menstrual period, according to Nancy E. Avis, PhD, of Wake Forrest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., and colleagues.

These findings exceeded the length of VMS symptoms reported in previous research, they wrote in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Broken down by race/ethnicity, African-American women reported the longest duration of VMS at 10.1 years, and Japanese women reported the shortest duration of VMS at 4.8 years, they added.

"Despite the high prevalence of VMS among midlife women, surprisingly little research has been done on the underlying etiology, individual differences in symptom presentation, sociodemographic and clinical correlates, or duration of symptoms," wrote Gloria Richard-Davis, MD, of the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, and JoAnn E. Manson, MD, DrPH, of Harvard Medical School, in an accompanying editorial.

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