Approximately 70% of women will experience the condition known as” hotflashes”, or night sweats, when they are going through menopause. Hotflashes are described as being a sudden and intense body heat. While experiencing these hotflashes women often get reddened skin, and irritable because of the discomfort.
What women may not realize is that hotflashes can be an indicator of an increased risk for heart disease. Women who are younger than 52, and experiencing these events need to pay attention to their signs for heart disease, and start to take action to reduce their risks.

The Research Study on the Correlation between Hotflashes and Heart Disease

180 women who were close to the age of menopause, or past the age of menopause were given an ambulatory skin conductance monitor to record the real time changes of their skin temperature. The researchers were recording the age of the women that were experiencing the skin temperature fluctuations, and the number of hot flashes the women had.
The study revealed that women who were 52 or younger, and experiencing hot flashes several times a day also had a blood vessel condition known as flow mediated dilation. Flow mediated dilation is a term used to describe a blood vessel that does not respond appropriately to the pressure of the blood flowing through it. In short, blood vessels experiencing FMD are not as pliable as blood vessels without this condition. Doctors feel that flow mediated dilation is a good indicator that the individual will develop atherosclerosis, (hardening of the arteries).
According to the study any woman 52 or younger that was experiencing hot flashes was at an increased risk of heart complications. The more frequent the hot flashes were, the greater the risk the woman had. The study also revealed that the younger a woman was when the hot flashes began, the more likely they would develop serious heart related conditions.

Do Hot Flashes Damage Blood Vessels

It has not been proven that the hot flashes damage the blood vessels. It may be that the damaged blood vessels make the woman more apt to have hot flashes. What the research roves is that women who are under 52, and experiencing hot flashes, need to be evaluated for their risk of heart disease.

What can a Woman do to reduce her Risk?

Some of your heart disease risk is genetically wired into you, and you can do nothing about genetics. If you are under 52 and having hot flashes, or you know there is a family history of heart disease, you should:

  •  See your primary care physician for an evaluation; then see your physician regularly so they can monitor your heart, and any signs of developing problems
  •  If you smoke; stop
  • Become more physically active. Start an exercise program, take the stairs, park farther from the store, just get moving.
  • If you are over-weight it is time to do something about that
  • Keep your blood pressure under control
  • Keep blood sugars from spiking and dropping