hot flashes

Untreated Hot Flashes and Workplace Productivity

Hot flashes are a nuisance that many women must deal with during menopause. But did you know that recent studies have shown that the extra healthcare expenses and lost productivity of women with menopausal hot flashes cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year? Here’s how untreated hot flashes impact workplace productivity.

Hot Flashes

Roughly 75% of menopausal women experience hot flashes. This includes night sweats and anxiety attacks. As well as symptoms like irritability, trouble concentrating, short-term memory problems, and disturbed sleep. While not everyone with hot flashes sees an impact on their ability to function in the workplace, some do. 

Around 9 million women in the U.S. are currently suffering from severe hot flashes. In past years, these numbers wouldn’t be nearly as high because of the use of hormone replacement. However, since the Women’s Health Initiative announced in 2002 that using hormones to treat menopausal symptoms increases the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, and stroke, the use of hormone replacement therapy dropped dramatically.

The Study

A research team used data from 1999-2011 to match 250,000 women with untreated hot flashes to the same number of women of similar age, region, and other characteristics who never had hot flashes. All the women had commercial health insurance. 

Researchers found that women with hot flashes used more healthcare services, particularly outpatient services. These extra services added up to $1,336 more per person per year, compared to women without symptoms. Additionally, there was an indirect income loss of $770 per woman per year. 

Furthermore, the authors of the journal Menopause attribute a loss of more than $300 million per year to untreated hot flashes just for the women in their study. Considering the population of the U.S., that loss could run into billions of dollars.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

For most women, the symptoms causing this issue could be treated with hormonal therapies that cost only $40 per month. It is no coincidence that the most rapid decline in the rate of women’s work ability occurs at 51, the peak of menopausal symptoms. So, why don’t more women seek treatment? Honestly, most women don’t speak to their doctors because of prejudice and misplaced fear of hormones.

Recent studies have found that hormone therapy prescribed before age 60 offers more benefits than risks. However, women must speak up and talk to their doctors about the pros and cons of hormone replacement therapy.

Untreated Hot Flashed and Work Predictably

Don’t suffer through hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Speak to a provider about your options for hormone replacement therapy. Contact the Menopause Center today to learn more.


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