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Menopause. 2011 May;18(5):525-30. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181f9f89f.

Depression in postmenopause: a study on a subsample of the Acupuncture on Hot Flushes Among Menopausal Women (ACUFLASH) study.

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Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universityof Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway.



The current study was conducted on a subsample of postmenopausal women with a high frequency of hot flashes who participated in the Norwegian Acupuncture on Hot Flushes Among Menopausal Women study. The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of depressive symptoms, as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory; the effect of acupuncture therapy for menopausal hot flashes on depressive symptoms; and the associations between depressive symptoms and hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and self-reported health.


The Acupuncture on Hot Flushes Among Menopausal Women study was a multicenter, pragmatic, randomized controlled trial. The present subsample consisted of 72 women who were randomized to two groups: self-care only and acupuncture in addition to self-care for a period of 12 weeks.


The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 30.6% at baseline, decreased similarly in both study groups during the study period, and was 14.1% at the end of the intervention. Depressive symptoms were significantly associated with sleep disturbances and self-reported health, but not with frequency of hot flashes.


Postmenopausal women experiencing a high frequency of hot flashes reported a high prevalence of depressive symptoms compared with the general female population. Study results lend support to previous findings of an increased risk for depression during menopause, at least in women with severe hot flashes. Results further indicate that symptoms of depression in postmenopausal women may be alleviated with limited resources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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