Acupuncture Worked.

A group of 170 peri- and postmenopausal women received acupuncture treatment over a six month period. The frequency of their hot flashes and nights sweats declined dramatically by 7 weeks and remained significantly reduced 6 months after the completion of their acupuncture treatment.

A control group of peri- and postmenopausal women did not receive acupuncture, The frequency of their hot flashes and night sweat increased by 6% during the six months their counter parts were receiving acupuncture. When this control group of women was given acupuncture, their hot flashes and night sweats similarly declined.

This study was not done in China. It was done in North Carolina. Women were recruited through newspaper advertisements, radio announcements and community postings.

I'm excited because this was a well-done study with excellent patient retention at 6 months and 12 months. There was greater diversity in this study than in many menopausal studies with 22% of the participants being African American.

Take home message: Acupuncture did not get rid of all hot flashes and night sweats.However there was a significant decline in the frequency of symptoms and the decline was sustained over 52 weeks of observation. Overall, there was an improvement in quality of life for these women. Yaasss!

Avis N et al. Acupuncture in Menopause (AIM) study: a pragnatic, randominzed controlled trial. Menopause. 2016;23 (6): 626-637.

Author
Sharan Abdul-Rahman, MD

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