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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Oct;219(4):373.e1-373.e10. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2018.08.019. Epub 2018 Aug 17.

Acupuncture for symptoms in menopause transition: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Guang'an Men Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
2
Institute of Basic Research in Clinical Medicine, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
3
Catholic Health System Internal Medicine Training Program, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.
4
Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine affiliated with Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China.
5
Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou, China.
6
Guangdong Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangzhou, China.
7
Shaanxi Province Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Xi'an, China.
8
Hospital of Integrated Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Taiyuan, China; First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei, China.
9
Affiliated Hospital of Shandong University of Chinese Medicine, Jinan, China.
10
First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei, China.
11
Hengyang Hospital affiliated with Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Hengyang, China.
12
Yantai Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yantai, China.
13
First Hospital of Hunan University of Chinese Medicine, Changsha, China.
14
Hubei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Wuhan, China.
15
Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China.
16
Guang'an Men Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing, China. Electronic address: baoyanjournal@163.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acupuncture has been used for women during menopause transition, but evidence is limited.

OBJECTIVE:

We sought to evaluate the efficacy of electroacupuncture on relieving symptoms of women during menopause transition.

STUDY DESIGN:

We conducted a prospective, multicenter, randomized, participant-blinded trial in China mainland. Subjects were randomized to receive 24 treatment sessions of electroacupuncture at traditional acupoints or sham electroacupuncture at nonacupoints over 8 weeks with 24 weeks' follow-up. Primary outcome was the change from baseline in the total score of Menopause Rating Scale at week 8. Secondary outcomes included the changes from baseline in the average 24-hour hot flash score, the Menopause Rating Scale subscale scores, the total score of Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire and its subscales, and serum female hormones. All analyses were performed with a 2-sided P value of < .05 considered significant based on the intention-to-treat principle.

RESULTS:

A total of 360 women (180 in each group) with menopause-related symptoms during menopause transition were enrolled from June 9, 2013, through Dec 28, 2015. At week 8, the reduction from baseline in the Menopause Rating Scale total score was 6.3 (95% confidence interval, 5.0-7.7) in the electroacupuncture group and 4.5 (95% confidence interval, 3.2-5.8) in the sham electroacupuncture group with a between-group difference of 1.8 (95% confidence interval, 0.9-2.8; P = .0002), less than the minimal clinically important difference of 5 points' reduction. For secondary outcomes, the between-group differences for the decrease in the mean 24-hour hot flash score were significant at weeks 8, 20, and 32, but all were less than the minimal clinically important difference in previous reports. Interestingly, the between-group differences for the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire total score reduction were 5.7 at week 8, 7.1 at week 20, and 8.4 at week 32, greater than the minimal clinically important difference of 4 points. Changes from baseline in follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and estradiol levels at weeks 8 and 20 (P > .05 for all), with the exception of follicle-stimulating hormone/luteinizing hormone ratios (P = .0024 at week 8 and .0499 at week 20), did not differ between groups.

CONCLUSION:

Among women during menopause transition, 8 weeks' electroacupuncture treatment did not seem to relieve menopausal symptoms, even though it appeared to improve their quality of life. Generalizability of the trial results may be limited by mild baseline menopausal symptoms in the included participants.

KEYWORDS:

Menopause Rating Scale; Menopause-Specific Quality of Life; acupuncture; hot flash; menopause transition

PMID:
30125529
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajog.2018.08.019

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