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OBJECTIVE: To describe self-reported menopausal symptom priorities and their association with demographics and other symptoms among participants in an intervention trial for vasomotor symptoms (VMS). METHODS: Cross-sectional study embedded in the MsFLASH 02 trial, a three-by-two factorial design of yoga vs. exercise vs. usual activity and omega-3-fatty acid vs. placebo. At baseline, women (n = 354) completed hot flush diaries, a card sort task to prioritize symptoms they would most like to alleviate, and standardized questionnaires. RESULTS: The most common symptom priorities were: VMS (n = 322), sleep (n = 191), concentration (n = 140), and fatigue (n = 116). In multivariate models, women who chose VMS as their top priority symptom (n = 210) reported significantly greater VMS severity (p = 0.004) and never smoking (p = 0.012), and women who chose sleep as their top priority symptom (n = 100) were more educated (p </= 0.001) and had worse sleep quality (p < 0.001). ROC curves identified sleep scale scores that were highly predictive of ranking sleep as a top priority symptom. CONCLUSIONS: Among women entering an intervention trial for VMS and with relatively low prevalence of depression and anxiety, VMS was the priority symptom for treatment. A card sort may be a valid tool for quickly assessing symptom priorities in clinical practice and research.