Hot flashes, night sweats at menopause may reduce risk of heart disease


Hot flashes are the most common menopausal symptoms caused by hormonal changes in the body.  Women who experience hot flashes know that hot flashes can never be enjoyable, but a new study might make these menopausal symptom little tolerable. A new study suggests that hot flashes and night sweats may protect women from heart disease, stroke and even death years after the Change.

Hot flushes also known as hot flashes in the US occur suddenly, lasting about four minutes on average, and produce an uncomfortable feeling of intense heat. Sufferers may break out in sweats and frequent hot flushes at night can severely disrupt sleep. The symptoms are caused by the dilation of blood vessels in the skin and are linked to hormone imbalances, but still not fully understood.


Researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Northwestern University reviewed medical information from 60,000 women, aged 50 to 79 who were enrolled in a health study for a period of 10 years. Each of the participants was grouped into four categories by the researchers. The first group consisted of women who experienced hot flashes and night sweats at the onset of menopause. The second experienced them later in menopause, while the third had them during both time periods and...

the fourth did not have hot flashes or night sweats at all.

The study found that women who had their worst hot flashes and night sweats around the time of menopause had an 11% lower risk of having a heart-related health problem and an 8% lower risk of dying from any cause compared with women who reported no menopausal symptoms.

But here is a twist as the results were positive only for the 50% to 80% of women who experienced symptoms early in the course of menopause. Those who reported continued hot flashes or night sweats did not show a heart benefit, whereas women who started feeling symptoms more than a decade after menopause actually showed an increased risk of heart-related problems.

The study was released online Thursday in the journal “Menopause”.


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