Background: Diet has been suggested to be a potential risk factor for vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMSs), ie, hot flushes and night sweats.
Objective: We investigated the associations between dietary patterns and risk of VMSs by using data from middle-aged women born between 1946 and 1951 in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health.
Design: A prospective cohort study of 6040 women with a natural menopause were followed up at 3-y intervals over 9 y. Dietary intake was assessed at baseline in 2001, and the presence of VMSs was assessed at baseline and follow-up. Factor analysis and generalized estimating equation models for binary repeated measures were performed.
Results: Six dietary patterns were identified from factor analysis: cooked vegetables, fruit, Mediterranean style, meat and processed meat, dairy, and high fat and sugar. A higher consumption of the fruit or Mediterranean-style diet was inversely associated with VMSs in a comparison of the top with the bottom quintile, with adjusted ORs of 0.81 (95% CI: 0.71, 0.93; P-trend = 0.0009) and 0.80 (95% CI: 0.69, 0.92; P-trend = 0.0004), respectively. The high-fat and -sugar pattern increased the risk of VMSs in a comparison of the top with the bottom quintile, with an adjusted OR of 1.23 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.44; P-trend = 0.02).
Conclusions: Consumption of a fruit or Mediterranean-style diet decreased the risk of reporting VMSs, whereas consumption of a high-fat and -sugar diet increased the risk of VMSs. These results may eventually lead to a basis for the development of dietary preventive measures for VMSs.