Frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms among peri- and postmenopausal women in the United States

Climacteric. 2008 Feb;11(1):32-43. doi: 10.1080/13697130701744696.


Objective: To describe characteristics of vasomotor symptoms, specifically daily frequency and severity, among women 40-65 years old in the United States (US).

Design: A survey was completed by a nationally representative sample of 4402 US women aged 40-65 years old. A questionnaire focusing on menopausal symptoms was administered online in April 2005.

Results: The prevalence of vasomotor symptoms was 79% in peri- and 65% in postmenopausal women. Women with daily vasomotor symptoms had an average of 2.5 very mild/mild, 2.6 moderate, 2.5 severe, and 1.4 very severe daytime hot flushes in a typical day. Women with night sweats every night had an average of 2.4 moderate, 3.2 severe, and 2.7 very severe night sweats in a typical night. Overall, 9% of peri- and 7% of postmenopausal women reported 7+ moderate to very severe vasomotor symptoms in a typical day. Although some women reported that symptoms were worse in the evening and in the summer, many women reported they were consistent, both throughout the day and throughout the seasons of the year.

Conclusions: The Menopause Epidemiology Study builds upon existing literature by providing data on daily frequency and severity of vasomotor symptoms. There are many women with frequent and severe vasomotor symptoms who may benefit from treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / epidemiology*
  • Hot Flashes / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Perimenopause / physiology*
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Seasons
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweating
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vasomotor System / physiopathology*