To test for a diurnal pattern in hot flashes in a multi-ethnic population living in a hot, humid environment. To examine rates of concordance between objective and subjective measures of hot flashes using ambulatory and laboratory measures.
Study participants aged 45–55 were recruited from the general population of Hilo, Hawaii. Women wore a Biolog hot flash monitor, kept a diary for 24-hours, and also participated in 3-hour laboratory measures (n=199). Diurnal patterns were assessed using polynomial regression. For each woman, objectively recorded hot flashes that matched subjective experience were treated as true positive readings. Subjective hot flashes were considered the standard for computing false positive and false negative readings. True positive, false positive, and false negative readings were compared across ethnic groups by chi-square analyses.
Frequencies of sternal, nuchal and subjective hot flashes peaked at 15:00 ± 1 hour with no difference by ethnicity. Laboratory results supported the pattern seen in ambulatory monitoring. Sternal and nuchal monitoring showed the same frequency of true positive measures, but non-sternal electrodes picked up more false positive readings. Laboratory monitoring showed very low frequencies of false negatives. There were no ethnic differences in the frequency of true positive or false positive measures. Women of European descent were more likely to report hot flashes that were not objectively demonstrated (false negative measures).
The diurnal pattern and peak in hot flash occurrence in the hot humid environment of Hilo was similar to results from more temperate environments. Lack of variation in sternal vs. non-sternal measures, and in true positive measures across ethnicities suggests no appreciable effect of population variation in sweating patterns.
- Hot flashes,
- diurnal pattern,
- ambulatory monitoring,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lynnette_sievert/64/