Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are common during the menopausal transition. Negative affect is consistently associated with self-reported VMS, but the interpretation of this relationship is limited by the infrequent measurement and retrospective recall of VMS. Using prospective data from daily diaries, we examined the daily association between negative affect and reported VMS, as well as the temporal associations between negative affect and next-day VMS and between VMS and next-day negative affect.
Data were derived from the third wave of the Daily Hormone Study (N = 625). The Daily Hormone Study is a substudy of the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, a multisite community-based prospective cohort study of the menopausal transition. Participants reported VMS and affect in daily diaries for 12 to 50 days. Multilevel mixed models were used to determine the associations between reported VMS and negative affect, adjusted by antidepressant use, age, education, menopause status, self-reported health, and race/ethnicity, drawn from annual Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation visits.
VMS were reported by 327 women (52.3%). Negative affect was positively associated with VMS (odds ratio [OR], 1.76; 95% CI, 1.43-2.17; P < 0.001) in cross-sectional analyses. Negative affect, adjusted by same-day VMS, was not predictive of next-day VMS (OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.85-1.35; P = 0.55), whereas VMS, adjusted by same-day negative affect, was predictive of negative affect for the next day (OR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.03-1.58; P = 0.01).
Negative affect is more likely to be reported on the same day and the day after VMS. Potential mechanisms underlying this relationship include negative cognitive appraisal, sleep disruption, and unmeasured third factors.