Hot flashes take toll on life, health, and work

Hot flashes put a damper on women's health and productivity at work and pump up the cost of health care. A study published online this month in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), has put some numbers on their impact.

The survey of more than 3,000 women age 40 to 75 selected from the 2010 US National Health and Wellness Survey showed that, for women with severe symptoms, lost cost $6,560, compared with $1,079 for women with mild symptoms. The cost of for was also much higher for women with severe symptoms—$962 compared with $574 for those with mild symptoms and $257 for those without symptoms. What's more, women with more severe symptoms felt much less healthy than those with milder symptoms, even if they had the same and number of other illnesses.

As many as 40% of women may experience hot flashes for more than 7 years and as many as 15% for more than 15 years. And in this study, the average age of women with severe hot flashes was 59, older than 51, the average age of menopause. That means many women may need help for their hot flashes for longer than most studies judge hormone therapy to be safe to use. In addition, some women may not be able or may not want to take hormones but still need their doctor's help with severe hot flashes.

"This study underscores the burden that severe hot flashes put on women and our society. It also emphasizes the need for more safe options to control symptoms," said Margery Gass, Executive Director of NAMS. "New, safe, nonhormonal prescription options could be a great boon to the many women who have a need for hot flash therapy."

The article, "Impact of the severity of on health status, resource use, and productivity," conducted by Kantar Health and sponsored by , will be published in the May 2013 print edition of Menopause.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Hot flashes can come back after SSRI

Oct 24, 2012

Hot flashes and night sweats can return after women stop using escitalopram—an antidepressant—to treat these menopause symptoms, according to a study published online this month in Menopause, the journal of the North ...

Hot flashes underreported and linked to forgetfulness

Jun 16, 2008

Women in midlife underreport the number of hot flashes that they experience by more than 40 percent, and these hot flashes are linked to poor verbal memory, according to a study by researchers at the University of Illinois ...

Menopausal hot flashes may be a good sign for heart

Feb 24, 2011

You are enjoying a night out with friends when it starts; first you feel flush, then a sensation of warmth crawls down your body. Soon you begin perspiring and you feel as if everyone around you can tell what is happening ...

Recommended for you

Health care organizations see value of telemedicine

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Health care organizations are developing and implementing telemedicine programs, although many have yet to receive reimbursement, according to a report published by Foley & Lardner.

Before you go... are you in denial about death?

16 hours ago

For most of us, death conjures up strong feelings. We project all kinds of fears onto it. We worry about it, dismiss it, laugh it off, push it aside or don't think about it at all. Until we have to. Of course, ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.