Rationale: Cigarette smoking has antiestrogenic properties, which may worsen the symptoms and health risks associated with menopause.
Objectives: In the present study, it was hypothesised that menopausal symptoms would improve with smoking abstinence.
Methods: Postmenopausal smokers (n = 76) were assessed with the Kupperman Index (KI) of menopausal symptoms and smoking-related indices of nicotine dependence, cotinine level, cigarettes per day (CPD), and number of years smoking.
Results: Participants were 67% Caucasian, 33% African-American, 52.3(SD = 7.8) mean years of age, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) level, m = 42.6(SD = 25.7) mlU/ml, mean number of months since last menses was 145.1(SD = 118.9), and mean body mass index (BMI) was 27.4(SD = 6.2). Mean cigarettes smoked per day (CPD) was 20.3(SD = 11.5), for m = 29.4(SD = 10.7) years; m = 6.4(SD = 2.1) Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), m = 23.8(SD = 13.0) ppm carbon monoxide, and m = 19.7(SD = 12.5) KI total score. Most participants (78.9%) were currently taking hormone therapy (HT). Hierarchical linear regression analyses revealed that FTND (β = 0.48, p = 0.001) and cotinine level (β = −0.27, p = 0.02) predicted KI scores at baseline. Amongst participants (n = 65) who achieved abstinence for 2 weeks, number of years smoking predicted KI scores (β = 0.38, p = 0.01). At 8 weeks postcessation, CPD significantly predicted of KI scores (β = −0.74), p = 0.04).
Conclusions: With abstinence from smoking, the overall severity of menopausal symptoms decreased and shared variance with different smoking-related variables. The temporal and cessation-related symptom course identified in this study will be important in informing cessation interventions with this population of smokers.