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Acupuncture may help depression in postmenopausal women

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Sunday Jan 30, 2011 (foodconsumer.org) -- Dørmænen A. and colleagues from University of Tromsø in Norway conducted a study suggesting that acupuncture may help menopause-induced depression in postmenopausal women with hot flashes.

It has been known that postmenopausal women who experience menopausal symptoms like hot flashes are more likely to experience depression or depressive symptoms.

In the trial of 72 postmenopausal women who experienced hot flashes , Dørmænen et al. examined the effect of acupuncture therapy for menopausal hot flashes on depressive symptoms and the associations between depression and hot flashes, sleep disturbances and self-reported health.

Subjects were randomly divided into two groups, one given acupuncture therapy and the other without for a period of 12 weeks.  At baseline, 30.6 percent women experienced depressive symptoms.

After the trial, both groups experienced a decrease in the depressive symptoms while the group receiving acupuncture therapy experienced a 54 percent reduction.

Depressive symptoms were associated with sleep disturbances and self-reported health, nit had nothing to do with the frequency of hot flashes.

David Liu, Ph.D.

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