Frequency of vasomotor symptoms (VMS) in older women and the contributing factors are largely undefined. We measured the frequency of moderate-to-severe vasomotor symptoms (msVMS) in women ≥60 years of age and examined their characteristics to determine factors that may associate with VMS in older women.
A cross-sectional survey was completed using the Menopause Health Questionnaire from the Data Registry on Experiences of Aging, Menopause, and Sexuality. Data were collected from women presenting for menopause consultation to Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, from January 1, 2006 to October 7, 2014. We created a binary variable where women were classified as having msVMS bother if they reported “quite a bit” or “extremely” compared with women reporting “not at all” or “a little bit.” Women with and without msVMS were evaluated by menopause type, self-rated heath, current tobacco, caffeine, and alcohol use, as well as pertinent medication use. Associations between participant characteristics and msVMS were evaluated using logistic regression and a multivariable model with age as a covariate. Interactions between participant characteristics and age were also assessed.
Of the 4,956 women presenting for menopause consultation, 921 (18%) were ≥60 years old. Of these, 379 (41.2%) reported msVMS bother. Women with msVMS were more likely to have a history of nonspontaneous menopause and report their health as fair, versus good or excellent. Women reporting current use of hormone therapy (HT) (21%) were less likely to report msVMS compared with those not taking HT (P < 0.001).
A substantial number of women seen in a specialty menopause clinic were over age 60 years and reported msVMS, highlighting that VMS may be disruptive in women over a decade past the natural age of menopause.