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Hot Flashes Are Linked to Insomnia

Perimenopausal and postmenopausal women could benefit from treatment for hot flashes

MONDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- In perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, hot flashes are strongly associated with insomnia, according to a study in the June 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Maurice M. Ohayon, M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D., of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., conducted a telephone interview among a random sample of 3,243 California women at least 18 years old, including 982 women aged 35 to 65 years. Among the sample, 57.2 percent were premenopausal, 22.3 percent were perimenopausal and 20.5 percent were postmenopausal.

The occurrence of hot flashes at least three times a week during the preceding month were classified as mild, moderate or severe based on how much they affected daily life. Insomnia was defined as overall dissatisfaction with sleep, non-restorative sleep and difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep for at least six months.

Hot flashes were reported among 12.5 percent of premenopausal women, 79 percent of perimenopausal women and 39.3 percent of postmenopausal women. Chronic insomnia was reported by 36.5 percent, 56.6 percent and 50.7 percent of premenopausal, perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, respectively.

"The presence of hot flashes should be systematically investigated in women with insomnia. Treating hot flashes could improve sleep quality and minimize the deleterious consequences of chronic insomnia," the authors conclude.

The study was supported by a grant from NV Organon.

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