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Traditional acupuncture for menopausal hot flashes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of traditional acupuncture (TA) for treatment of hot flashes (HFs) in peri-menopausal and post-menopausal women based on a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

The following international electronic databases: PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and four Korean medical databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (KISS; Korean-studies Information Service System, Korean Traditional Knowledge Portal, NDSL; National Discovery for Science Leaders, KiSTi; Korean Institute of Science and Technology Information, OASIS; Oriental Medicine Advanced Searching Integrated System). The Cochrane Collaboration’s riskof bias was used for quality assessment. The efficacy outcomes were frequency and severity of HFs and quality of life were analyzed using the mean differences in the random effects model. The RevMan 5.3 program was used for meta-analysis.

Eleven RCTs were included in this systematic review, and nine were included in the meta-analysis. Traditional acupuncture (TA) showed statistically significant improvement relative to sham acupuncture (SA) in HF severity without heterogeneity. However, HF frequency and quality of life (QOL) did not differ between TA and SA. Nevertheless, TA showed significant improvement of HF frequency and severity, and QOL when compared to the control (wait list or no treatment).

The evidence suggested that TA can improve HF in menopausal women and could be a potential treatment for menopausal women.

Authors: Eun-Young Nama,1, Ju-Yeon Parkb,1, Ji-Yeon Leec, Junyong Job,d, Dong-Il Kima published in European Journal of Integrative Medicine Volume 17, January 2018, Pages 119-128