New findings to be presented at The North American Menopause Society
(NAMS) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting

TOKYO, September 28, 2020 – Astellas Pharma Inc. (TSE: 4503, President and CEO: Kenji Yasukawa, Ph.D., “Astellas”) today announced findings from two Real-World Evidence (RWE) studies and a qualitative sleep survey that underscore the prevalence of vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause and the disruptive impact of these symptoms on sleep. These data will be presented during two pre-recorded oral presentations and one poster session at The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting, available online starting September 28, 2020. 

Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) – comprising of hot flashes and night sweats – are the most common symptoms associated with menopause1,2 and are often reported as the most bothersome3.

“These studies better characterize the burden of vasomotor symptoms associated with menopause and underscore the negative impacts on quality of life for women, particularly as it relates to sleep,” said Judith Nelissen, Ph.D., Vice President, Head of Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR), Medical Affairs, Astellas. “At Astellas, we remain committed to creating and delivering value for women in need of new treatment options to address vasomotor symptoms.”

In a retrospective analysis of the racially and culturally diverse midlife women participating in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation (SWAN) database, high VMS frequency was associated with greater odds of sleep problems (i.e., difficulty falling asleep, waking early and sleep interruption) and worse sleep quality. After controlling for VMS frequency, other comorbidities, and a range of covariates, women with migraines or arthritis were also at higher risk of worse sleep. Three comorbidities were found to amplify or attenuate the association between VMS frequency and of sleep quality: diabetes, hypertension, and migraines. These findings warrant further investigation, as greater understanding may help healthcare providers better tailor treatment plans for their patients. 

Results from a global prospective online survey showed 34 percent of postmenopausal women in the U.S. (mean age was 57 years) experience moderate-to-severe VMS, and 61 percent of those women experience associated sleep disturbances. Hot flashes and night sweats were shown to be among the top five most bothersome symptoms based on the Menopause-specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL). Additionally, 47 percent of U.S. respondents had contacted their healthcare provider within the last year to discuss hot flashes and night sweats. Results also showed an economic burden of menopause-related symptoms in terms of healthcare resource utilization and out-of-pocket costs and support the need for developing newer treatments for menopause-related symptoms.

Oral Presentations (Available On-Demand)

Title: Effect of Vasomotor Symptom Frequency and Comorbidities on Sleep Quality Among Women in Midlife: A Retrospective Analysis of the US SWAN Database (Abstract #S-10)

  • Presenter: Risa Kagan, M.D., FACOG, Sutter Health, Berkeley

Title: Global Prospective Survey of Women with Vasomotor Symptoms Associated with Menopause: U.S. Findings (Abstract #S-15)

  • Presenter: Robin Kroll, M.D., FACOG, Seattle Women’s Health, Washington

Poster Session

Title: Qualitative Study of the Burden of Vasomotor Symptoms Associated with Menopause and Content Validity of Two PROMIS Sleep Measures in Menopausal Women (Abstract #P-6)

  • Presenter: Marci English, MPH, Astellas


Click below for a copy of the full press release

Contact the Media Relations team
Communications & Investor Relations
Main phone line for Media: +81-3244-3201 
Business hours (JST)
From Monday to Thursday: 8:45 am to 5:45 pm, Friday: 8:45 am to 4:00 pm
(closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays and company holidays)