A new study finds that women who experience frequent hot flashes in younger midlife (age 40 – 53 years) may be more likely to have poor vascular function regardless of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors or estradiol levels. These findings were published online April 12 in Menopause.
“[I]mpairment in endothelial function is an initiating event in the atherosclerotic process, and thereby frequent hot flashes may mark emerging vascular dysfunction among early midlife women,” write Rebecca C. Thurston, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, and colleagues.
Researchers evaluated data from 272 nonsmoking women aged 40 to 69 years who were late perimenopausal (2 – 12 months amenorrhea) or postmenopausal (≥12 months amenorrhea). The study excludes women with CVD, neoplasia, hysterectomy, and/or bilateral oophorectomy, kidney failure, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, Raynaud’s phenomenon, or current pregnancy. The researchers also excluded women with a history of recent use of reproductive hormone agents, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, insulin, or cardiovascular drugs. On average, participants were 54 years of age, white, college educated, and postmenopausal and had a relatively favorable CVD risk factor profile.
Read more from Medscape, by Jennifer Garcia, Hot Flashes Could Signal Increased Risk for Heart Disease