Frisk, J., Carlhall, S., Kallstrom, A.C., Lindh-Astrand, L., Malmstrom, A., & Hammar, M. (2008). Long-term follow-up of acupuncture and hormone therapy on hot flushes in women with breast cancer: A prospective, randomized, controlled multicenter trial. Climacteric, 11, 166–174.doi:10.1080/13697130801958709
To evaluate the effects of electro-acupuncture (EA) and hormone therapy (HT) on vasomotor symptoms in women with a history of breast cancer
Twenty-seven women were randomized to EA for 12 weeks, 18 received HT for 24 months. The total population was 45.
This was an international, multicenter study, HABITS19, involving patients from three centers in Sweden between April 1998 and December 2002.
Randomized, controlled study
The patients were monitored with daily entries made in a log book, recording the numbers of hot flashes during day and night and how disturbing they were (range 0 for no distress to 10 for worst possible distress). The log books were completed daily for 1–3 weeks before treatment, continuously during the first 12 weeks of treatment, and thereafter for 1 week per month; altogether for 24 months. The measuring points were baseline, the 12th week of treatment, and at 1 week and 6, 9, 12, 18, and 24 months after start of treatment.
In 19 women who completed 12 weeks of EA, the median number of hot flashes per 24 hours decreased from 9.6 at baseline to 4.3 at 12 weeks of treatment. At 12 months after start of treatment, 14 women with only the initial 12 weeks of EA had a median number of flashes per 24 hours of 4.9, and at 24 months 7. Women with no other treatment than EA had 2.1 hot flashes per 24 hours.
Limitations included small sample size and relatively large attrition rate.