Caffeine and Menopausal Symptoms

What Is the Association?

Stephanie S. Faubion, MD; Richa Sood, MD; Jacqueline M. Thielen, MD; Lynne T. Shuster, MD

Disclosures

Menopause. 2015;22(2):155-158. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Objective. We assessed the association between caffeine intake and menopausal symptom bother, particularly vasomotor symptoms.

Methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using the Menopause Health Questionnaire, which is a comprehensive survey of menopause-related health information. Questionnaires were completed by 2,507 consecutive women who presented with menopausal concerns at the Women’s Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN) between July 25, 2005 and July 25, 2011. Data from 1,806 women who met all inclusion criteria were analyzed. Menopausal symptom ratings were compared between women who used caffeine and women who did not use caffeine using two-sample t test and analysis of covariance, with smoking and menopause status included as covariates. In all cases, two-tailed P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results. Caffeine use was positively associated with mean (SD) vasomotor symptom scores (2.30 [0.91] vs 2.15 [0.94], P = 0.011). This finding remained significant after adjustment for menopause status and cigarette smoking (P = 0.027).

Conclusions. Caffeine use is associated with greater vasomotor symptom bother in postmenopausal women.

Introduction

Vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported menopausal symptoms, occurring in 79% of perimenopausal women and 65% of postmenopausal women.[1,2] Although it has long been believed that caffeine intake exacerbates menopausal vasomotor symptoms, research has challenged this assumption, as caffeine has been both positively and negatively linked to hot flashes.[3,4] The use of caffeine is ubiquitous, with approximately 85% of the US population consuming some form of caffeine-containing beverage daily.[5] Further defining the role of caffeine in menopausal symptoms will allow clinicians to more appropriately counsel women experiencing troublesome menopausal symptoms about their caffeine use.

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