The aim of a recent survey by Smith and colleagues was to identify risk factors associated with the duration of hot flushes and the time of peak hot flush severity in mid-life women . Data were extracted from a US cohort of 647 women reporting hot flushes at baseline and followed for 1–7 years. The following risk factors were considered: menopause status, race, education, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, leisure and work activity, and sex hormone levels. Average hot flush duration was 2.5 years (range 1–33 years). Peak severity (time from first experience of flush) was on average at 2.96 years (range 1–20 years). Duration of hot flushes was associated with race, education, menopause status, smoking history, BMI, alcohol consumption, leisure activity levels, and levels of estradiol and progesterone. In the final model, only race, alcohol consumption and menopause were retained. White women had significantly shorter hot flush durations than non-white women. Women consuming at least 12 alcoholic drinks in the previous year had a significantly shorter duration of hot flushes with a smaller effect of hot flush duration on increasing in time to peak severity compared to those who consumed less than 12 alcoholic drinks in that year. Higher serum progesterone levels were associated with later peak severity if the duration of the hot flushes was less than 2 years and an earlier peak severity otherwise.
Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel
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