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Women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats with a higher risk of heart attacks, angina and strokes

Women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats are at a much greater risk of heart attacks, angina and stroke, study reveals

  • Researchers from Australia reviewed previous studies involving 23,365 women
  • Cardiovascular disease is 70% more likely after menopause with the symptoms
  • Experiencing vasomotor symptoms before menopause also increases the risk

Women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats are at a much greater risk of heart attacks, angina and stroke, a study found.

When reviewing data on 23,365 women, experts from Australia found that people of any age who experience hot flashes or night sweats – “vasomotor symptoms” – are more likely to experience non-fatal cardiovascular attacks.

However, the team also found that cardiovascular disease is 70 percent more likely in postmenopausal women with the symptoms.

Experiencing vasomotor symptoms before menopause, meanwhile, increases a woman’s risk of cardiovascular problems by 40 percent.

Women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats are at a much greater risk of heart attacks, angina and strokes, according to a study (stock image)

Women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats are at a much greater risk of heart attacks, angina and strokes, according to a study (stock image)

“Until now, it was unclear whether vasomotor symptoms are associated with cardiovascular disease, but now we know it’s true,” said public health expert Dongshan Zhu of the University of Queensland, who led the study.

In addition, pre-menopausal vasomotor symptoms increase the risk of cardiovascular events in a woman by 40 percent.

The team also found that the risk of cardiovascular events was more related to the severity of the hot flashes and night sweats than their frequency or duration.

“We found that women with severe vasomotor symptoms were more than twice as likely to have a non-fatal cardiovascular event compared to women without symptoms,” he added.

For their study, the researchers used data from InterLACE, an important collaboration of 25 studies of more than 500,000 women from all over the world.

The team also found that women of any age who experience hot flashes or night sweats – “vasomotor symptoms” – are more likely to experience non-fatal cardiovascular attacks

The findings may have important clinical implications, said University of Queensland author and epidemiologist Gita Mishra.

“This study helps identify women who are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular events and who may need to be closely monitored in clinical practice,” she added.

The full findings of the study are published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

HOT FLUSHES: THE FACTS

Most women will experience hot flashes during menopause.

They are often described as a sudden feeling of warmth that seems to come out of nowhere and spreads throughout the body.

You may also experience sweating, palpitations, and facial flushing.

Some women only have occasional hot flashes that don’t really bother them, while others can take them for many days and find them uncomfortable, distracting, and embarrassing.

Hot flashes can start several months or years before your period stops (before starting menopause) and usually last several years after your last period.

Causes of hot flashes

Hot flashes usually occur in women who are approaching menopause and are believed to be caused by changes in your hormone levels that affect your body’s temperature regulation.

They can happen all day and night without warning, but can also be caused by:

  • spicy food
  • caffeine and alcohol
  • to smoke
  • wear thick clothes
  • a high temperature
  • feeling stressed or anxious
  • treatment for certain cancers (this can affect both men and women)
  • certain medications
  • some health problems, such as an overactive thyroid, diabetes and tuberculosis

How does a hot flash feel?

Women often describe a hot flash as a creeping sense of intense warmth that spreads quickly all over your body and face.

It usually takes a few minutes. Others say the warmth is similar to the feeling of being under a tanning bed or feeling like an oven.

The website healthtalk.org has several videos in which women describe what a hot flash feels like.

SOURCE: NHS

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