Best Paper Awards

Professor Susan Davis awarded Best Paper by North American Menopause Society

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) has awarded endocrinologist Professor Susan Davis, from the Women's Health Research Program at SPHPM, the Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Best Paper of the Year Award.

The six categories for the Society's 2016 awards recognise outstanding contributions to the field of women's health and menopause — Professor Davis was the only Australian researcher to receive this high honour.

For the best paper category the recipient is hand-picked by the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal, Harvard Medical School Professor Isaac Schiff.

Professor Davis received the award for her publication in Menopause titled, “Moderate to severe vasomotor and sexual symptoms remain problematic for women aged 60 to 65 years.”

In 2015 Professor Davis led new research at SPHPM into increasing the understanding of the impact of menopause in women at midlife, as well as in older women. Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are symptoms such as menopausal hot flushes, night sweats and sweating. The landmark Australian study surveyed 2,020 women aged 40 to 65 years, and menopausal symptoms were assessed using the Menopause Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL).

Professor Davis, together with Professor Robin Bell and PhD candidates Miss Pragya Gartoulla and Dr Roisin Worsley, found that there is a high prevalence of untreated moderate to severe VMS, even in women aged 60 to 65 years; 62.5 per cent of women of this age also reported persistent sexual symptoms.

The research, the first of its kind in Australia to provide a national snapshot of women at midlife and beyond, found that menopausal hot flushes and sweats not only affect 75 per cent of postmenopausal women aged 55 years or less, but that 42 per cent of women aged 60-65 years and 32 per cent of women aged 65 plus also suffer these symptoms.

In concurrent publications Professor Davis' team found that moderate to severe hot flushes and sweats were independently associated with lower psychological general wellbeing. They also found menopausal hot flushes and sweats to be independently associated with poorer self-reported work ability.

Notwithstanding the high prevalence of symptoms, this research shows that most Australian women with severe menopausal symptoms are untreated (only 6 % of women surveyed were using menopausal hormone therapy) despite the availability of well-studied, effective hormonal and non-hormonal therapies. Furthermore, 13 per cent of women reported using complementary and alternative medicines, which lack evidence for efficacy, to manage their menopausal hot flushes and night sweats.

Pragya Gartoulla awarded Maturitas New Investigator Award

Women's Health Research Program PhD candidate Pragya Gartoulla was awarded the Maturitas Elsevier New Investigator Award for 2016 for her paper: Gartoulla P, Bell RJ, Worsley R, Davis SR. Menopausal vasomotor symptoms are associated with poor self-assessed work ability. Maturitas 2016 87:33-39.

This is an annual prize awarded for the best paper published in the journal by a New Investigator.

Maturitas is the official journal of the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) and affiliated with the Australasian Menopause Society (AMS), published by Elsevier Science. It is an international multidisciplinary peer reviewed scientific journal of midlife health and beyond and provides a forum for all aspects of postreproductive health in both genders ranging from basic science to health and social care.