Does quitting smoking decrease the risk of midlife hot flashes? A longitudinal analysis


      • We analyzed risk, severity, and frequency of hot flashes in peri-menopausal women.
      • A history of ever smoking increased risk, severity, and frequency of hot flashes.
      • Quitting smoking decreased risk, severity, and frequency of hot flashes.
      • Quitting smoking was only effective in decreasing hot flashes after 5 years.


      Epidemiological studies have shown that cigarette smoking is associated with an increased risk of midlife hot flashes; however, the effect of quitting smoking on this risk is unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of quitting smoking on hot flashes using data from 761 women aged 45 to 54 years of age at baseline followed for 1 to 7 years. Results showed that women who quit smoking were less likely to suffer from hot flashes, less likely to have severe hot flashes, and less likely to have frequent hot flashes than women who continued to smoke (OR = 0.55, 0.80, 0.76), but were more likely to suffer from any hot flashes, more severe hot flashes, and more frequent hot flashes than women who never smoked (OR = 2.55, 1.68, 1.46). Subset analysis of the 353 women who had ever smoked found that women who had quit smoking for longer than 5 years had significantly lower odds, severity, and frequency of hot flashes than women who had continued smoking (OR = 0.36, 0.62, 0.63) or women who had quit in the previous 5 years (OR = 0.66, 0.77, 0.69). These findings suggest that that early smoking cessation programs may improve women's well-being during the menopausal transition.


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