Study shows that depressive symptoms are more likely to precede hot flashes than vice-versa
(HealthDay News) – Among women in their late reproductive years, depression symptoms are more likely to precede hot flashes, according to research presented this week at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine in San Francisco.
Mary Sammel, Sc.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a 10-year study of 170 women who were ages 35-47 and symptom-free at baseline.
The researchers found that 70 women (41.2 percent) experienced hot flashes as well as depressed mood. But they found that significantly more women experienced depressive symptoms first (23.5 percent) than experienced hot flashes first (7.7 percent).
"This pattern is contrary to the theory that hot flashes are a likely cause of depression," the authors conclude. "Both processes have been associated with changes in reproductive hormones, but these patterns of reporting indicate the potential for different underlying mechanisms."
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, founded in 1944, is an organization of more than 8,000 physicians, researchers, nurses, technicians, and other professionals dedicated to advancing knowledge and expertise in reproductive biology. Affiliated societies include the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, The Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and the Society of Reproductive Surgeons.