Women with ages between 45 and 55 years old go through menopause when they no longer menstruate. This means that their ovaries no longer produce the progesterone and estrogen hormones. As a consequence women can experience hot flashes, vaginal dryness, insomnia and mood swings.
Past studied have suggested that smokers experience worse hot flashes. Starting from this researcher in epidemiology Rebecca Smith of the University of Illinois wanted to see whether this applies in the case of women who give up smoking. The paper was published in the journal Maturitas.
The research team monitored 962 women with ages between 45 and 54 for a period of seven years. When the study began 347 of the women involved in it had hot flashes. Among the participants who had never smoked 30 percent had hot flashes, whereas among ex-smokers 52 percent had hot flashes. The highest rates were observed in the case of active smokers among which 62 percent had hot flashes.
The group of active smokers was the one that experienced menopause symptoms every day or every week . 47 percent of the participants in this group had moderate or intense hot flashes. Overall active smokers were four times more likely to experience hot flashes in comparison with participants who never smoked.
Unlike active smokers ex-smokers were 37 percent less likely to experience hot flashes and 22 percent less likely to have often and serious symptoms.
In conclusion the study proves to be in accordance with the previous research. Scientists speculate that smoking might affect mechanisms which are linked to hot flashes such as neurotransmitters and hormones.
According to the CDC (the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) smoking represents the main cause of avoidable deaths. It substantially increases the risks of lung cancer, stroke, heart disease and almost any type of cancer.
Compared to those who quit smoking later, participants in the study who quit at least five years before menopause had 14 percent less severe hot flashes and 19 percent decrease in their frequency.
While the effect was strongest if women quit at least five years before the onset of menopause, even women quitting later did have a better outcome than women who continued to smoke. I hope that this encourages women to quit smoking, the earlier the better.”
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