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01-11-2009 | Gynaecology | Article

Menopausal night sweats reduce later mortality risk

Abstract

Journal abstract

MedWire News: Women who report night sweats during the menopause have a reduced risk for death over the next 20 years, regardless of current or past use of postmenopausal estrogen therapy, study findings suggest.

Johan Svartberg, from the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsø, and colleagues followed-up 867 postmenopausal women who provided lifestyle and menopause-related history during 1984–1987 and completed a questionnaire on menopause and vasomotor symptoms in 1989.

In all, 73 percent of women reported hot flashes and 39 percent also reported night sweats. There were a total of 405 deaths over an average follow-up period of 11.5 years, with 194 deaths due to cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 71 to coronary heart disease (CHD).

While hot flashes per se were not linked to all-cause mortality, women who also had night sweats had a significant 28 percent reduced risk for all-cause mortality compared with other women.

When adjusted for past estrogen or progestin use, the reduction in risk for CVD and CHD in women with night sweats was similar, at 38 and 49 percent. However, the reductions were no longer significant after taking into account body mass index, physical exercise, and smoking.

The researchers say: “Night sweats were associated with a reduced risk for death over the following 20 years, independent of multiple risk factors including past or current use of hormone therapy.”

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Liam Davenport