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Are cold extremities an issue in women’s health? Epidemiological evaluation of cold extremities among Japanese women

Authors Tsuboi S, Mine T, Tomioka Y, Shiraishi S, Fukushima F, Ikaga T

Received 10 October 2018

Accepted for publication 19 December 2018

Published 11 January 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 31—39

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IJWH.S190414

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Elie Al-Chaer


Satoshi Tsuboi,1 Tomosa Mine,2 Yumi Tomioka,3 Saeka Shiraishi,4 Fujiko Fukushima,3 Toshiharu Ikaga4

1Department of Epidemiology, Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan; 2Department of the Scientific Study of Children, Shokei Gakuin University, Natori, Japan; 3Department of Family and Reproductive Health Nursing, Toho University, Tokyo, Japan; 4Department of System Design Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan

Background: Unlike traditional East Asian medicine, the necessity of health care services for cold extremities is yet to be acknowledged in Western medicine. In this study, we aimed to conduct an epidemiological evaluation of this unremarkable symptom among women in Japan.
Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from February 2016 to April 2017, and data of 238 women throughout Japan were analyzed. Questionnaires were used to examine participants’ demographics, health-related behaviors, health status, and frequency of subjective symptoms over the past 1 year. The association between cold extremities and other subjective symptoms was examined by the multiple logistic regression analysis.
Results: The prevalences of mild and severe cold extremities were 49.6% and 35.3%, respectively. Temperature and utilization of health care services were not significantly different by the severity of cold extremities. The accompanying symptoms that were significantly associated with the cold extremities were shoulder stiffness, fatigue, low back pain, headache, nasal congestion, itching, injury, and difficulty hearing. After multiple logistic regression analysis, low back pain (OR: 4.91) and difficulty hearing (OR: 4.84) kept the significance. Factors related to cold extremities including mental quality of life, sleep quality, and habitual drinking were significantly associated with other accompanying symptoms.
Conclusion: Women with cold extremities have various accompanying symptoms and health-risk behaviors. Symptomatic treatment for cold extremities may not be sufficient, and comprehensive care would be required.

Keywords: cold extremities, cold hands, Flammer syndrome, vascular dysregulation, patient stratification, risk factors

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