Objective: To examine the relationships between climate (season, temperature, humidity), lifestyle, health, mood and beliefs and experience of hot flushes and night sweats amongst mid-aged women living in eight urban Indian centers.
Methods: A total of 717 peri- and postmenopausal women, aged 45-55 years, from urban centers in different regions of India were included. Data were collected during both summer and winter months. Participants completed questionnaires eliciting information about sociodemographics, hot flushes (prevalence, frequency and problem-rating), health and lifestyle (body mass index, diet, exercise, alcohol use), mood (Women's Health Questionnaire) and attributions and beliefs (Menopause Representations Questionnaire).
Results: The prevalence of vasomotor symptoms was low, with 34% of the sample reporting hot flushes and/or night sweats. Seasonal variation in temperature was not associated with hot flush prevalence, frequency or problem rating. Hot flush prevalence was mainly associated with higher anxiety and intake of spicy foods, frequency with (older) age and (more) frequent exercise, while hot flushes were more problematic for women who reported poorer general health and more negative beliefs about menopause.
Conclusions: In this study of Indian women, seasonal temperature variation did not appear to influence hot flush reporting. Health, mood, beliefs and lifestyle factors appear to explain some, but not all, of the variance in experience of menopausal symptoms.
Keywords: CLIMATE; CULTURE; HOT FLUSHES; MENOPAUSE; SEASON; VASOMOTOR SYMPTOMS.