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Impact of nulliparity, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, and gestational diabetes on vasomotor symptoms in midlife women

To determine whether women with a history of nulliparity, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP), or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have a higher odds of reporting vasomotor symptoms (VMS) at midlife. A longitudinal analysis was performed with 2,249 women with pregnancy history data in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. Women were classified as nulliparous, no HDP/GDM, or a history of HDP/GDM. VMS (hot flashes, night sweats) were assessed separately at baseline and at each follow-up visit. VMS was recorded as any versus none; 0 , 1-5 , 6+ days in past 2 weeks. Pregnancy history was examined in relation to each VMS (hot flashes, night sweats) using generalized estimating equations adjusting for age (time-varying), site, race/ethnicity, education, financial strain, smoking, and body mass index. Models excluded women with hysterectomy/bilateral oophorectomy and observations with hormone therapy use. Women in the HDP/GDM group (n = 208, 9%) were more likely to be Black, financially strained, and overweight. Compared to women with no HDP/GDM, women with HDP/GDM had greater odds of reporting any hot flashes (OR:1.27; 95% CI:1.05-1.53). Nulliparous women had lower odds of any hot flashes (OR:0.64; 95% CI:0.51-0.80) and night sweats (OR:0.73; 95% CI:0.58-0.93) in age-adjusted models. Similar patterns were observed for frequency of hot flashes and night sweats; associations were attenuated to nonsignificance after adjusting for covariates. History of HDP/GDM may be associated with more VMS and nulliparity with fewer VMS, but not independently of sociodemographic factors. Our findings underscore the importance of social and economic disparities in both reproductive outcomes and VMS. VIDEO SUMMARY::

Authors: Cortés, Yamnia I; Conant, Rhoda; Catov, Janet M; Matthews, Karen A; Crawford, Sybil L; Hedderson, Monique M; Thurston, Rebecca C

Menopause. 2020 12;27(12):1363-1370.

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