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Chinese Medicine Acupuncture Doesn't Top Sham for Hot Flashes

Chinese medicine acupuncture is not superior to noninsertive sham for menopausal women

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TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with moderately severe menopausal hot flashes, Chinese medicine acupuncture is not superior to noninsertive sham acupuncture, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Carolyn Ee, M.B.B.S., from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and colleagues examined the efficacy of Chinese medicine acupuncture versus sham acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes. Women aged older than 40 years in the late menopausal transition or postmenopause with at least seven moderate hot flashes daily were randomized to Chinese medicine needle acupuncture designed to treat kidney yin deficiency (163 women) or noninsertive sham acupuncture (164 women). Participants underwent 10 treatments over eight weeks.

The researchers found that 16 percent of participants in the acupuncture group and 13 in the sham group were lost to follow-up. At the end of treatment, the mean hot flash scores were 15.36 in the acupuncture group and 15.04 in the sham group (mean difference, 0.33; 95 percent confidence interval, −1.87 to 2.52; P = 0.77). There were no reports of serious adverse events.

"Chinese medicine acupuncture was not superior to noninsertive sham acupuncture for women with moderately severe menopausal hot flashes," the authors write.

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