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  YourHealth > Women  << Previous|Next >>

Women use Alternative Therapies
for menopause symptoms

 A recent federally-sponsored survey of menopausal women finds that many are using complementary medicine therapies -- vitamins, herbs, and soy protein -- to ameliorate symptoms such as hot flashes and trouble sleeping.

The data was presented at the Community Prevention Research in Women's Health Conference at the National Institutes of Health in late October of 2000.

About 2,600 women age 45 and over were surveyed by state officials in Florida, Tennessee, and Minnesota. The research is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Office of Women's Health at the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

The median age was 60, and ranged up to 98, according to Nora Keenan of the division of adult and community health at the CDC. Forty-four percent had reached natural menopause, and another 39% were menopausal as a result of a hysterectomy, with or without the removal of ovaries. Only 16.6% of the women surveyed were still menstruating.

About 35% of all the women said they did not use any therapy to treat menopausal symptoms, while 19% said they used conventional medications only. Twenty-one percent used complementary or alternative therapies alone, and 25% said they used both conventional and alternative methods.

The women were asked about complementary or alternative therapies they had used for at least three months. By far, the most popular therapy was vitamins and minerals, followed by herbal remedies.

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