Vikström J, Spetz Holm AC, Sydsjö G, Marcusson J, Wressle E, Hammar M. Hot flushes still occur in a population of 85-year-old Swedish women. Climacteric. 2013 Aug;16(4):453-9. doi: 10.3109/13697137.2012.727199. Epub 2012 Nov 8. PubMed PMID: 23514136.
Hot flushes and night sweats often cause discomfort and may negatively affect sleep and quality of life. Studies have shown that menopausal symptoms, like hot flushes, may persist for up to 20 years after the menopausal transition, but there are no published studies regarding the occurrence of hot flushes among women older than 80 years. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of hot flushes in 85-year-old women.
All 85-year old women living in Linköping municipality in 2007 (n = 415) received a postal questionnaire. The majority, 74% (n = 307), answered the questionnaire and 47% (n = 194) agreed to visit the Department of Geriatric Medicine; during this visit questions regarding hot flushes and use of hormone therapy were asked.
About 16% (n = 29) of the women experienced hot flushes during the day and/or during the night and 6.5% (n = 12) of the women were currently using hormone therapy. Almost 10% (n = 17) of all responding women were very to moderately distressed by their hot flushes.
Our results confirm and extend previous knowledge based on studies of younger postmenopausal women in showing that menopausal symptoms still occur in elderly women. We found that, while the prevalence of menopausal symptoms decreases with age, these symptoms are still experienced by some 85-year-old women.
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