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A longitudinal study of the treatment of hot flushes: the population study of women in Gothenburg during a quarter of a century

Journal article
Authors Kerstin Rödström
Calle Bengtsson
Ian Milsom
Lauren Lissner
Valter Sundh
Cecilia Björkelund
Published in Menopause
Volume 9
Issue 3
Pages 156-161
ISSN 1072-3714
Publication year 2002
Published at Institute of Community Medicine, Dept of Primary Health Care
Institute of Community Medicine, Dept of Primary Health Care
Institute for the Health of Women and Children, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Pages 156-161
Language en
Keywords Adult, Estrogen Replacement Therapy, Female, Hot Flashes, drug therapy, epidemiology, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Middle Aged, Postmenopause, Prevalence, Sweden, epidemiology
Subject categories Public health medicine research areas, Obstetrics and women's diseases


Department of Primary Health Care, Sahlgrenska/Akademin, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg University, Sweden. OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence and treatment of hot flushes in premenopausal and postmenopausal women from the 1960s to the 1990s. DESIGN: This prospective study, based on a random sample of the total female population of 430,000 in Gothenburg, Sweden, was started in 1968, with follow-ups in 1974, 1980, and 1992. The participants were 1,462 women born in 1930, 1922, 1918, 1914, and 1908 (participation rate 90.1%) who were representative of women of the same age in the general population. For the purpose of analyzing secular trends, we included 122 participants who were 38 years old and 47 who were 50 years old in 1980-1981. RESULTS: The prevalence of hot flushes increased from approximately 11% at 38 years to a maximal prevalence of approximately 60% at 52 to 54 years of age, then declined successively from approximately 30% at 60 years of age to approximately 15% at 66 years of age, and then to approximately 9% at 72 years of age. The predominant type of medication being prescribed changed during the observation period from sedatives/anticholinergic drugs in the 1960s to hormone replacement therapy in the 1980s. Hormone replacement therapy was considered to be an effective form of treatment for hot flushes by 70% to 87% of the women. CONCLUSIONS: Hot flushes were a common symptom, with a maximal prevalence of 64% at 54 years of age. Medical consultation and treatment did not increase in 50-year-old women from 1968-1969 to 1980-1981. Treatment changed and became more effective during the observation period. PMID: 11973438 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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