Summary: A new study reveals women can experience vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause long after other symptoms of menopause have ceased and well into old age.
Source: Mayo Clinic.
Menopause symptoms are not just for midlife anymore, according to a new Mayo Clinic study published this month in the Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
The study, conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic gathered data from nearly 5,000 women. When asked whether they experienced any symptoms commonly associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats (vasomotor symptoms), a significant percentage reported having them well into their 60s, 70s and 80s.
“The number of women in the study who both reported and sought care for symptom management shines a light on what may be an unmet medical need for women over age 60,” says Paru David, M.D., menopause specialist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, who is a study author. “With increased awareness, clinicians can identify these distressing symptoms and review treatment options with women, which can lead to improved quality of life.”
Women older than 60 who reported moderate to severe vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes) were more likely to be married or in a committed relationship, and less likely to self-report their health as excellent. Those who experienced surgical menopause or induced menopause were also more likely to report vasomotor symptoms beyond 60. Caffeine appeared to increase the likelihood of vasomotor symptoms in women older than 70.
The study also found women using hormone therapy were less likely to report moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats. Researchers expected this. The benefit of initiating menopausal hormone therapy in appropriately selected women generally outweighs the risk for those younger than 60 and within 10 years from menopause. However, it is unclear as to when the appropriate time is to stop hormones. The Northern American Menopause Society, the Endocrine Society, and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend against the arbitrary discontinuation of menopausal hormone therapy based on age alone. Women should discuss hormone therapy duration with their health care providers who can discuss individualized risks and benefits to make treatment decisions.
“Women in their 60s, 70s and 80s who are still experiencing menopause symptoms should talk with their doctors to find a treatment plan – and relief – that can improve their quality of life,” says Juliana Kling, M.D., a menopause specialist at Mayo Clinic Arizona, who is a co-author.
About this neuroscience research article
Source:Mayo Clinic Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com. Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain. Original Research:Abstract for “Vasomotor symptoms in women over 60: results from the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause, and Sexuality (DREAMS)” by David, Paru S.; Kling, Juliana M.; Vegunta, Suneela; Faubion, Stephanie S.; Kapoor, Ekta; Mara, Kristin C.; Schroeder, Darrell R.; Hilsaca, Karla Frohmader; and Kuhle, Carol L. in Menopause. Published May 7 2018. doi:10.1097/GME.0000000000001126
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[cbtabs][cbtab title=”MLA”]Mayo Clinic “Hot Flashes Can Last Longer Than You Think.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 3 June 2018. <https://neurosciencenews.com/hot-flashes-post-menopause-9227/>.[/cbtab][cbtab title=”APA”]Mayo Clinic (2018, June 3). Hot Flashes Can Last Longer Than You Think. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved June 3, 2018 from https://neurosciencenews.com/hot-flashes-post-menopause-9227/[/cbtab][cbtab title=”Chicago”]Mayo Clinic “Hot Flashes Can Last Longer Than You Think.” https://neurosciencenews.com/hot-flashes-post-menopause-9227/ (accessed June 3, 2018).[/cbtab][/cbtabs]
Vasomotor symptoms in women over 60: results from the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause, and Sexuality (DREAMS)
Objective: Frequency of vasomotor symptoms (VMS) in older women and the contributing factors are largely undefined. We measured the frequency of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms (msVMS) in women ≥60 years of age and examined their characteristics to determine factors that may associate with VMS in older women.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was completed using the Menopause Health Questionnaire from the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause, and Sexuality. Data were collected from women presenting for menopause consultation to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, from January 1, 2006 to October 7, 2014. We created a binary variable where women were classified as having msVMS bother if they reported “quite a bit” or “extremely” compared with women reporting “not at all” or “a little bit.” Women with and without msVMS were evaluated by menopause type, self-rated heath, current tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol use, as well as pertinent medication use. Associations between participant characteristics and msVMS were evaluated using logistic regression and a multivariable model with age as a covariate. Interactions between participant characteristics and age were also assessed.
Results: Of the 4,956 women presenting for menopause consultation, 921 (18%) were ≥60 years old. Of these, 379 (41.2%) reported msVMS bother. Women with msVMS were more likely to have a history of nonspontaneous menopause and report their health as fair, versus good or excellent. Women reporting current use of hormone therapy (HT) (21%) were less likely to report msVMS compared with those not taking HT (P < 0.001).
Conclusions: A substantial number of women seen in a specialty menopause clinic were over age 60 years and reported msVMS, highlighting that VMS may be disruptive in women over a decade past the natural age of menopause.