HealthDay News — Self-reported night sweats and hot flashes are both associated with depression scores in middle-aged women, but only night sweats are associated with stress scores, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society, held from Oct. 12 to 15 in Atlanta.
Sofiya I. Shreyer, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and colleagues assessed whether women who report night sweats differ in levels of stress or depression from women who report hot flashes. Analysis included interview responses from 200 women aged 45 to 55 years.
The researchers found that 70 percent of participants experienced hot flashes and 63 percent experienced night sweats during the past two weeks. The highest frequency of hot flashes occurred at night (54 percent). When adjusting for menopause status, financial comfort, and marriage, night sweats were significantly associated with depression and stress, while hot flashes were significantly associated with only depression. Among women reporting the highest frequency of hot flashes at night, depression scores but not stress scores were significantly higher after adjusting for menopause status, financial comfort, and marriage.
“This study adds to the growing evidence that menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats can significantly detract from a woman’s qualify of life and should be taken seriously by health care professionals,” Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of the North American Menopause Society, said in a statement. “More research is necessary to fully understand the mechanisms of these symptoms and their overall effect on a woman’s menopause experience.”