Moderate-severe vasomotor symptoms

Moderate–Severe Vasomotor Symptoms Are Associated with Moderate–Severe Depressive Symptoms


Background: The association between menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and depressive symptoms remains controversial. We aimed to examine the associations between moderate–severe VMS and moderate–severe depressive symptoms.

Methods: Nationally representative cross-sectional survey of 2,020 noninstitutionalized Australian women aged 40–65 randomly recruited between October 2013 and March 2014. Symptoms were assessed by the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, with score ‡20 defined as moderate–severe depressive symptoms. Cigarette, alcohol, and psychotropic medication use was also assessed. Binge drinking was defined as four standard drinks on one occasion.

Results: VMS were classified as moderate–severe for 267 of the 2,020 women (13.3%). After adjusting for multiple factors, including age, partnership status, paid employment, housing insecurity, and body mass index, when compared to women with no or mild VMS, women with moderate–severe VMS were more likely to have moderate–severe depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR] 2.80, confidence interval [95% CI], 2.01–3.88, p < 0.001). Having moderate–severe depressive symptoms was associated with a greater likelihood of use of psychotropic medications (48.9%, 95% CI, 43.1–54.8 vs. 20.1%, 95% CI, 18.2–22.1, p < 0.001), smoking (25.9%, 95% CI, 20.8–30.9 vs. 12.2%, 95% CI, 10.6–13.7, p < 0.001), and binge drinking at least weekly (15.1%, 95% CI, 11.0–19.2 vs. 10.3% 95% CI, 8.8–11.7, p = 0.015).

Conclusion: Moderate–severe VMS are independently and significantly associated with moderate–severe depressive symptoms.

Worsley R, Bell RJ, Gartoulla P, Robinson PJ, Davis SR. Journal of Women's Health 2017