A new study has found that menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats or others naturally affect women much longer than earlier thought, i.e. as much as a median of 7.4 years.
For the latest study, the researchers involved a group of around 1,500 women having frequent symptoms of the onset of menopause. After closing looking at their cases, the researchers found that there exists remarkable variations in duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) between the ethnic groups.
The crucial findings of the study include:
- Women belonging to African-American community experience menopausal symptoms for a median of 10.1 years.
- These women experience menopausal symptoms for more than any other ethnic group.
- Japanese and Chinese women experienced the symptoms of menopause for the shortest duration on average, i.e. 4.8 and 5.4 years respectively.
The researchers found that women experiencing night sweats, hot flashes or other symptoms at a younger age tended to witness them last longer, as did women having greater levels of stress or less education.
The study also noted that these symptoms of menopause are experienced by almost 80 percent of women approaching that age.
The study authors said, “These findings can help health care professionals counsel patients about expectations regarding VMS and help women in making treatment decisions based on the probability of their VMS persisting.”
A commentary that accompanied the study read that the new findings have challenged the long-held conception that these menopausal experiences “minimally affect women’s health or quality of life and can be readily addressed by short-term approaches”.
The findings of the study were published online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.