This study examined the effects of caffeine, alcohol, and physical activity (PA) on the perceived frequency and severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. Female employees at a Mid-Western university were invited to participate in an on-line survey. The 26-itemized Wo- men’s Health Survey (WHS) included questions regarding demographics, menopausal stage, experience of hot flashes, consumption of caffeinated beverages and alcohol, and participation in PA. One-hundred and ninety-six women completed the study. Ordinary Least Squares regressions revealed PA, caffeine, and alcohol intake were significant in predicting the severity of hot flashes (R2 = 0.068, F(6,180) = 2.195, p = 0.046), though they did not predict frequency of hot flashes (R2 = 0.043, F(6,184) = 1.39, p = 0.221). Participation in aerobic PA increased frequency of hot flashes (p = 0.031); while higher intensity of aerobic PA had an inverse relationship on both frequency and severity of hot flashes (p = 0.011, p = 0.003, respectively). Spearman correlations demonstrated a positive relationship between caffeinated soda intake and frequency (r = 0.17, p = 0.06) and severity (r = 0.19, p = 0.04) of hot flashes. Beverage consumption and PA may predict severity of hot flashes in women. Less frequent, higher intensity aerobic PA may lead to fewer, less severe hot flashes.
Riley, E.H., Inui, T.S., Kleinman, K. and Connelly, M.T. (2004) Differential association of modifiable health behaviors with hot flashes in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 9(1), 740-746.
Freeman, E.W., Sammel, M.D., Grisso, J.A., Battistini, M., Garcia-Espagna, B. and Hollander, L. (2001) Hot flashes in the late reproductive years: Risk factors for African-American and Caucasian women. Journal of Women’s Health & Gender-Based Medicine, 10(1), 67-76.