Menopausal hot flashes could trigger acute depression

A new study has suggested that menopausal women who suffer from nighttime hot flashes may be at risk of developing acute depression. As published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers led an independent study which studied menopausal women who experienced sleep disruption during night time.

In the study, 29 women aged between 18 and 45 years old participated, all of which were in their pre-menopausal stage. “When women were awake long enough to later recall nighttime hot flushes, that perception contributed to mood disturbance in women whose estrogen levels had fallen,” Dr. Hadine Joffe, one of the lead researchers, stated.
Each participant was given medication that reduces estrogen hormonal production throughout a four-week period.

According to the study’s findings, the participants who remember experiencing hot flashes during bedtime were at risk of acute depression. However, participants who remember little to no hot flashes at night time were less likely to experience symptoms of depression.

Moreover, researchers observed hot flashes that occurred during the daytime and concluded that depressive symptoms were not likely to develop, the study found.

“The results of our research suggest menopausal women who report experiencing nighttime hot flashes and sleep disruption should be screened for mood disturbances,” Joffee said.

Joffee continued by stating the following: “Any treatment of mood symptoms in this population also should incorporate efforts to address sleep and nighttime hot flashes.”