The results show data from Brazilian women above average
Results indicate an overall prevalence of moderate to severe symptoms of 15.6% among all women evaluated. However, this prevalence was much higher among Brazilian women (36.2%, equivalent to one-third) than among Nordic women (11.6%). The researchers also found that hot flashes impair work performance in up to 30% of cases, with symptom severity seen most in relation to sleep.
However, according to the study, many women sought medical advice, but the majority (56.9%) did not undergo treatment for vasomotor symptoms. The article was published in Menopause, a journal of the American Menopause Association.
According to Ruggero Bonasi Machado, one of the authors and president of the Brazilian Climatic Society (SUBRAC) and professor at the Jundiaí School of Medicine, the fact that Brazilian women have more severe symptoms than women in the Nordic countries has drawn attention – and one possible reason for that explanation is the difference in temperatures between countries. . “We are a much hotter country, so Brazilian women are also likely to suffer due to the climate impact,” he added.
Another fact that caught the researchers' attention was that Mexican women also reported fewer hot flashes — with only 16% of them saying they felt moderate to severe motor symptoms — and that they lived in climate conditions similar to those in Brazil. “This is data that we need to understand better. But when talking with a researcher from Mexico, one possible explanation has to do with the cultural issue. Mexican women tend not to report cases as much as Brazilian women: that is, they complain less about their doctors,” Machado suggested.
Why do hot flashes occur?
Hot flashes appear due to a decrease in the action of estrogen in the hypothalamus, which is an area responsible for regulating temperature in the body and acts as if it were a thermostat: “In the hypothalamus there is a thermoregulation center that operates within it.” What are the normal ranges of heat exchange or not? If the outside temperature is too hot, our body will want to exchange heat in an attempt to lower the temperature. It's the same when it's cold, there are also mechanisms in the hypothalamus to retain heat. “The estrogen level drops, and any difference in temperature activates the thermoregulation center and makes it want to lose heat. It's as if that thermostat is out of regulation,” Machado explained.
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