A small study carried out at the University of Illinois has suggested that non- and ex-smokers may have fewer and less severe hot flushes during the menopause than women who continue to smoke.
Researchers found that women who hadn’t smoked for at least five years were 45 percent less likely to suffer from severe and/or frequent hot flushes during the menopause than current smokers. Those who had never smoked or had given up smoking for even longer were even less likely to have worse symptoms.
According the lead researcher Rebecca Smith, who specialises in epidemiology, even quitting later rather than not giving up at all gives a better outcome than continuing to smoke. She hopes that the new research will help to encourage women to quit smoking earlier.
The study involved 761 women aged 45 to 54, and found that out of the non-smokers, only 39% suffered from hot flushes, in comparison to 52% of ex-smokers and 62% of current smokers. Moderate and severe hot flushes afflicted 47% of current smokers, while they affected on 36% of ex-smokers and 22% of regular smokers.
Their findings are in line with past studies, with the results leading to speculation that smoking may interfere with the hormones, neurotransmitters and other mechanisms which are also linked to hot flushes.
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