You are enjoying a night out with friends when it starts; first you feel a flush, then a sensation of warmth crawls down your body. Soon you begin perspiring and you feel as if everyone around you can tell what is happening – another hot flash. An estimated three out of four women experience hot flashes associated with menopause and nearly all would agree they are a nuisance, but experts say there could be an upside to having hot flashes. New research released in the journal Menopause suggests that women who suffer from hot flashes and night sweats may be at lower risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and death.
Szmuilowicz, who co-chaired the study along with JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH, and Ellen Seely, MD from Harvard Medical School, reviewed medical information from 60,000 women who were enrolled in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study and followed for ten years, to determine the relationship between menopause symptoms and cardiovascular events. Subjects were grouped into four categories – women who experienced hot flashes and night sweats at the onset of menopause, later in menopause, during both time periods, and not at all.