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Research: Menopausal Symptoms

February 2013
Acupuncture Improves Sleep in Postmenopause in a Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study
Climacteric
(Journal of the International Menopause Society), February 2013, Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 36-40
BACKGROUND: Insomnia increases in frequency as women approach and pass through menopause. Studies have not shown acupuncture efficacy for insomnia in postmenopausal women. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture therapy on sleep parameters, depression symptoms and quality of life in postmenopausal women with insomnia.
CONCLUSION: Acupuncture was effective in improving reported sleep quality and quality of life in postmenopausal women with insomnia.

March 2010

Effects of Acupuncture on Hot Flashes in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women--A Multicenter Randomized Clinical Trial
Menopause, March 2010, Volume 17, Issue 2, pages 269-280
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture plus usual care for relief of hot flashes and menopause-related symptoms compared with usual care alone in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women. METHODS: A multicenter, randomized, controlled trial was conducted. Perimenopausal or postmenopausal women with average hot flash scores of 10 or higher during the week before the screening visit were enrolled and randomly divided into two groups. The treatment group received 12 sessions of acupuncture and maintained usual care for 4 weeks, whereas the control group underwent usual care alone. Hot flash scores were calculated by multiplying frequency by severity of hot flashes recorded in a daily diary. The primary outcome was the mean change in the average 24-hour hot flash score at week 4 from baseline. The secondary outcome was the mean change in menopause-related symptoms as estimated by the Menopause Rating Scale questionnaire at week 4. Follow-up assessment at week 8 was conducted in the treatment group only. RESULTS: The mean change in the average 24-hour hot flash score was -16.57 in the treatment group (n = 116) and -6.93 in the control group (n = 59), a difference of 9.64 (P < 0.0001). The total Menopause Rating Scale score, as well as the subscale scores for the psychological, somatic, and urogenital dimensions of menopause, showed significant improvement in the acupuncture group compared with the control group (P < 0.001). The mean change in the treatment group in the primary outcome was -17.58 at week 8. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that acupuncture in addition to usual care is associated with marked clinical improvement in hot flashes and menopause-related symptoms in perimenopausal or postmenopausal women.

May 2009
The Acupuncture on Hot Flushes Among Menopausal Women (ACUFLASH) Study, A Randomized Controlled Trial
Menopause, Volume 16, Issue 3, pages 484-493.
OBJECTIVE:: This study compared the effectiveness of individualized acupuncture plus self-care versus self-care alone on hot flashes and health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women. METHODS:: This study involved a multicenter, pragmatic, randomized, controlled trial with two parallel arms. Participants were postmenopausal women experiencing, on average, seven or more hot flashes per 24 hours during seven consecutive days. The acupuncture group received 10 acupuncture treatment sessions and advice on self-care, and the control group received advice on self-care only. The frequency and severity (0-10 scale) of hot flashes were registered in a diary. Urine excretion of calcitonin gene-related peptide was assessed at baseline and after 12 weeks. The primary endpoint was change in mean hot flash frequency from baseline to 12 weeks. The secondary endpoint was change in health-related quality of life measured by the Women's Health Questionnaire. RESULTS:: Hot flash frequency decreased by 5.8 per 24 hours in the acupuncture group (n = 134) and 3.7 per 24 hours in the control group (n = 133), a difference of 2.1 (P < 0.001). Hot flash intensity decreased by 3.2 units in the acupuncture group and 1.8 units in the control group, a difference of 1.4 (P < 0.001). The acupuncture group experienced statistically significant improvements in the vasomotor, sleep, and somatic symptoms dimensions of the Women's Health Questionnaire compared with the control group. Urine calcitonin gene-related peptide excretion remained unchanged from baseline to week 12. CONCLUSIONS:: Acupuncture plus self-care can contribute to a clinically relevant reduction in hot flashes and increased health-related quality of life in postmenopausal women.

October 2008

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Patients: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, October 7, 2008.
Acupuncture has been used to treat the problem of hot flashes in healthy postmenopausal women. The object of this study was to investigate the efficacy of acupuncture in women with breast cancer suffering from hot flashes as a result of anti-oestrogen medication. In a prospective, controlled trial, 59 women suffering from hot flashes following breast cancer surgery and adjuvant oestrogen-antagonist treatment (Tamoxifen) were randomized to either 10 weeks of traditional Chinese acupuncture or sham acupuncture (SA). Mean number of hot flashes at day and night were recorded prior to treatment, during the treatment period as well as during the 12 weeks following treatment. A validated health score (Kupperman index) was conducted at baseline, at the end of the treatment period and at 12 weeks following treatment. During the treatment period mean number of hot flashes at day and night was significantly reduced by 50 and almost 60%, respectively from baseline in the acupuncture group, and was further reduced by 30% both at day and night during the next 12 weeks. In the sham acupuncture group a significant reduction of 25% in hot flashes at day was seen during treatment, but was reversed during the following 12 weeks. No reduction was seen in hot flashes at night. Kupperman index was reduced by 44% from baseline to the end of the treatment period in the acupuncture group, and largely maintained 12 weeks after treatment ended. No corresponding changes were seen in the sham acupuncture group. Acupuncture seems to provide effective relief from hot flashes both day and night in women operated for breast cancer, treated with Tamoxifen. This treatment effect seems to coincide with a general health improvement measured with the validated Kupperman index.



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