More Physical Activity Tied to Higher Odds of Hot Flashes

Findings seen for objectively measured and subjectively reported hot flashes during waking and sleeping periods
hot flash menopause exercise
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

FRIDAY, May 31, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Increases in physical activity increase the odds of menopause-related hot flashes, according to a study published online May 28 in Menopause.

Sarah Witkowski, Ph.D., from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and colleagues examined the association between acute changes in physical activity, temperature, and humidity and 24-hour subjective and objective hot flash experiences. The analysis included 188 women (aged 45 to 55 years) across three menopause stages.

The researchers found significantly greater odds of a hot flash following acute increases in physical activity for objective waking hot flashes (odds ratio [OR], 1.31) and subjective waking hot flashes (OR, 1.16). There was also an association observed between acute increases in the actigraphy signal and odds of having an objective (OR, 1.17) or subjective (OR, 1.72) sleeping hot flash. For subjective sleeping hot flashes, significantly higher odds were seen with increases in temperature (OR, 1.38). Humidity was not associated with odds of experiencing any hot flashes.

"This study shows a link between increases in physical activity and subsequent subjective and objective hot flashes during both waking and sleeping periods," Stephanie Faubion, M.D., medical director of The Menopause Society, said in a statement. "Clinicians may advise patients of this link while acknowledging the multiple well-known benefits of physical activity. Because temperature during sleep affected the odds of having a hot flash, modifications such as the use of lighter-weight blankets and sleepwear, as well as keeping the room temperature cooler, may help with nighttime hot flashes."

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