Menopause Symptoms Could Last for Decades

by Colleen Fleiss on Jun 3 2018 1:36 AM

Menopause Symptoms Could Last for Decades
A study conducted by gathering data from nearly 5,000 women revealed that women in their 60s, 70s and 80s were still experiencing symptoms commonly associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats (vasomotor symptoms). The study was carried out by Mayo Clinic researchers and published this month in the Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
"The number of women in the study who both reported and sought care for symptom management shines a light on what may be an unmet medical need for women over age 60," says Paru David, M.D., menopause specialist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, who is a study author. "With increased awareness, clinicians can identify these distressing symptoms and review treatment options with women, which can lead to improved quality of life."

Those who experienced surgical menopause or induced menopause were also more likely to report vasomotor symptoms beyond 60. Caffeine appeared to increase the likelihood of vasomotor symptoms in women older than 70.

The study also found women using hormone therapy were less likely to report moderate to severe hot flashes and night sweats. Researchers expected this. The benefit of initiating menopausal hormone therapy in appropriately selected women generally outweighs the risk for those younger than 60 and within 10 years from menopause. However, it is unclear as to when the appropriate time is to stop hormones. The Northern American Menopause Society, the Endocrine Society, and The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend against the arbitrary discontinuation of menopausal hormone therapy based on age alone. Women should discuss hormone therapy duration with their health care providers who can discuss individualized risks and benefits to make treatment decisions.

"Women in their 60s, 70s and 80s who are still experiencing menopause symptoms should talk with their doctors to find a treatment plan - and relief - that can improve their quality of life," says Juliana Kling, M.D., a menopause specialist at Mayo Clinic Arizona, who is a co-author.


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