Hot Flashes and Heart Disease

Here’s more evidence that some of the unpleasant aspects of aging may be good for you. Women who have hot flashes when they begin menopause may be at a lower risk for heart problems.

New data from a long-running study in the U.S. suggests these women seemed to have a lower risk for heart attack and death than women who never had hot flashes or who develop them late.

The lead author of the study in the online journal menopause says that while previous reports suggested menopause symptoms were associated with higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the actual outcomes tell a different story, and there may be a positive side to having the annoying symptoms. Hot flashes are not well studied but are thought to result from blood vessels dilating in response to normal hormone fluctuations of menopause.

The research involved more than 60,000 women followed for an average of almost 10 years. It’s the first to examine timing of menopausal symptoms and risks for heart problems and deaths.

The researchers hope these results should reassure millions of women who experience hot flashes or night sweats.

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