Why do vasomotor symptoms bother some women long after menopause?
Results of a survey-based study show that vasomotor symptoms (VMS) can be troublesome to women more than a decade after they enter menopause. The findings, published in Menopause, point to an association between two factors—nonspontaneous menopause and health that is only fair—and the duration of the symptoms.
The analysis, by investigators from Mayo Clinic, involved collection of data from women who presented to the facility in Rochester, Minnesota, for a menopause consultation between January 1, 2006 and October 7, 2014. The participants completed the Menopause Health Questionnaire from the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause, and Sexuality (DREAMS), which was created at the clinic as a tool to improve health care.
During the study period, 4,956 women had a consultation for menopause, 921 (18%) of whom were age 60 or older. Of that subgroup, 379 (41.2%) reported moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms (msVMS). The msVMS classification indicated that the women had reported on the survey that they were bothered “quite a bit” or “extremely” by their symptoms rather than “not at all” or “a little bit.”
The researchers evaluated women with and without msVMS by menopause type; self-rated health; current use of tobacco, caffeine and alcohol; and use of pertinent medication. Logistic regression and a multivariable model with age as a covariate were used to evaluate associations between participant characteristics and msVMS. Interactions between participant characteristics and age also were assessed.
The authors found that women aged 60 or older with msVMS were more likely to have had a nonspontaneous menopause and to report their health as fair rather than good or excellent. Women who reported currently using hormone therapy were less likely to report msVMS than those who did not use the drugs P < 0.001).