Hot flashes are a common symptom of menopause, but did you know that there is also an association between hot flashes and heart health? Recent studies have shown that experiencing hot flashes is associated with a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. If you’re going through menopause, it’s important to be aware of this link and take steps to protect your heart.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, and previous research has shown that it accelerates in midlife during the menopause transition.
Approximately 70% of women experience hot flashes during the menopause transition, so more studies are needed to understand the full complexity of this transition in life. It has already been found that women with more frequent hot flashes have poorer cardiovascular risk factor profiles, including insulin resistance (or diabetes), elevated blood pressure (hypertension), dyslipidemia, and a greater risk of underlying atherosclerosis.
Persistent hot flashes have additionally been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease events such as stroke and myocardial infarction. Menopause has also been associated with mental health concerns.
Researchers will be presenting this week at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting, highlighting concerns linking hot flashes with heart health.
Dr. Rebecca Thurston from the University of Pittsburgh will lead the presentation and explore potential underlying physiologic mechanisms that could link vasomotor symptoms to cardiovascular risk.
“Hot flashes are regarded as symptoms with implications for quality of life but not necessarily physical health. Accumulating research has called this long-held clinical wisdom into question and underscores that frequent or severe hot flashes may signal women who are at increased cardiovascular disease risk at midlife and beyond,” says Dr. Thurston.
Maintaining Heart Health
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