Do menopausal hot flushes change with sunlight exposure?

Dr Qunyan Xu1, Dr Jill Dorrian2, Dr Jane Warland1

1School Of Nursing & Midwifery, University Of South Australia, 2School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia

Objectives: To examine the relationship between sunlight exposure and hot flushes in working Australian women.

Materials and methods: Daily Hot flush score, the outcome variable was measured by the 7-day North Central Cancer Treatment Group Daily Vasomotor Symptoms Diary. Daily duration of sunlight exposure (≥2000lux), the predictor variable was recorded by the HOBO MX2202 pendant. Both variables were repeatedly measured over two consecutive 7 days, with one in the 2017 Australian summer and the other in the 2018 winter. Linear mixed model was used; shift work and season were adjusted for as confounders. To detect a median effect size of R2 = 0.2, 34 women were required for the given design.

Results: 49 women were recruited, and 13 had various missing observations. Overall, there was no relationship between sunlight exposure and hot flush. However, for shift workers, an hour increase in sunlight exposure was associated with a 1.4-point reduction in hot flush score (p = 0.025). This relationship was not significant for day workers (p = 0.318).

Conclusions: Increased sunlight exposure improves hot flushes in shift workers, but not day workers.

Funding: This work was supported by SafeWork SA, Government of South Australian, Australia, via the 2017 Augusta Zadow Award. This funding source was not involved in the conduct of this research.