Menopausal or pre- menopausal women, aged 40-65, who experience hot flashes or excessive sweating during sleep, are at increased risk of moderate and severe depression.
The results demonstrate that among a group of women ages 40-65, those with moderate-severe hot flashes were significantly more likely to have moderate-severe depression than women with no or mild vasomotor symptoms.
Roisin Worsley, Robin Bell, Pragya Gartoulla, Penelope Robinson and Susan Davis, Monash University in Melbourne, Australia examined hot flashes, depressive symptoms and use of antidepressant medication to be common in the age range of women
The findings, published in journal of Women's Health, indicated that more than 2,000 pre-menopausal and menopausal women showed moderate-severe vasomotor symptoms - hot flashes or night sweats -an independent and significant risk factor for moderate and severe depression.
The researchers explored the controversial link between hot flashes and depressive symptoms by focusing on more severe forms of both conditions and concluding that there is likely a common underlying cause.
They also examined whether or not moderate-severe depression was associated with a greater likelihood of psychotropic medication use, smoking, or binge drinking at least once a week.
"The results of this study shed further light on therapeutic findings, with both anti-depressant medication and estrogen therapy having the potential to improve hot flashes and mood," said Susan G. Kornstein from Virginia Commonwealth University's institute for women's health in Richmond, US.
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