Hot flashes shown to be linked to increased risk of later cardiovascular disease events

September 24, 2019

CLEVELAND, Ohio (September 24, 2019)--Previous studies suggested an association between hot flashes and cardiovascular (CVD) disease. But little research linked hot flashes to "hard" clinical CVD events like heart attacks and strokes. A new study measuring clinical CVD outcomes presents the strongest evidence of frequent or persistent hot flashes associated with higher CVD event risk. Study results will be presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Chicago, September 25-28, 2019.

Most studies that have previously attempted to link hot flashes with an increased risk of CVD have relied on subclinical measures of CVD, which are proxies for clinical CVD, but not actual events. They have also relied upon recalled measures as hot flashes from years earlier, which can be biased by memory. The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a longitudinal 20-year study of the menopause transition, is uniquely positioned to confirm this link because it assessed hot flashes regularly throughout the menopause transition and has also collected information on CVD events as women age.

In this latest study based on SWAN data, researchers tested whether the hot flashes early in the transition or persistent hot flashes over the transition impacted incident CVD risk. They found that frequent, as well as persistent, hot flashes over the menopausal transition translated into a higher risk of having a CVD event in the future. They additionally discovered that this association was not explained by standard CVD risk factors. In fact, frequent hot flashes at the beginning of the study were associated with a doubling of risk of clinical CVD events, and persistent hot flashes over the study with an 80% increased risk of clinical CVD events in the subsequent 20 years.

"This is the strongest test of whether hot flashes are associated with actual clinical CVD events, such as heart attacks and strokes, which represent the most clinically relevant outcome," says Dr. Rebecca Thurston, lead author of the study from the University of Pittsburgh. "It's the strongest because we measured hot flashes prospectively multiple times over the course of the menopause transition, which is different than most other studies of CVD events that ask women to recall their hot flashes over months or years. We also had measures of clinical CVD events, rather than other proxy measures. We brought these data together to address this important question in a more rigorous fashion than prior studies."

"With heart disease being the number one killer of women, it's critical that we understand its many different risk factors in order to help create more preventative and treatment strategies for women transitioning through menopause," says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
-end-
Drs. Thurston and Faubion are available for interviews before the presentation at the Annual Meeting.

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field--including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education--makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit http://www.menopause.org.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Related Science Articles from Brightsurf:

75 science societies urge the education department to base Title IX sexual harassment regulations on evidence and science
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) today led 75 scientific societies in submitting comments on the US Department of Education's proposed changes to Title IX regulations.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, biopharma, and pharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2018 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Science in the palm of your hand: How citizen science transforms passive learners
Citizen science projects can engage even children who previously were not interested in science.

Applied science may yield more translational research publications than basic science
While translational research can happen at any stage of the research process, a recent investigation of behavioral and social science research awards granted by the NIH between 2008 and 2014 revealed that applied science yielded a higher volume of translational research publications than basic science, according to a study published May 9, 2018 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Xueying Han from the Science and Technology Policy Institute, USA, and colleagues.

Prominent academics, including Salk's Thomas Albright, call for more science in forensic science
Six scientists who recently served on the National Commission on Forensic Science are calling on the scientific community at large to advocate for increased research and financial support of forensic science as well as the introduction of empirical testing requirements to ensure the validity of outcomes.

World Science Forum 2017 Jordan issues Science for Peace Declaration
On behalf of the coordinating organizations responsible for delivering the World Science Forum Jordan, the concluding Science for Peace Declaration issued at the Dead Sea represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.

PETA science group promotes animal-free science at society of toxicology conference
The PETA International Science Consortium Ltd. is presenting two posters on animal-free methods for testing inhalation toxicity at the 56th annual Society of Toxicology (SOT) meeting March 12 to 16, 2017, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Citizen Science in the Digital Age: Rhetoric, Science and Public Engagement
James Wynn's timely investigation highlights scientific studies grounded in publicly gathered data and probes the rhetoric these studies employ.

Science/Science Careers' survey ranks top biotech, pharma, and biopharma employers
The Science and Science Careers' 2016 annual Top Employers Survey polled employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical, and related industries to determine the 20 best employers in these industries as well as their driving characteristics.

Three natural science professors win TJ Park Science Fellowship
Professor Jung-Min Kee (Department of Chemistry, UNIST), Professor Kyudong Choi (Department of Mathematical Sciences, UNIST), and Professor Kwanpyo Kim (Department of Physics, UNIST) are the recipients of the Cheong-Am (TJ Park) Science Fellowship of the year 2016.

Read More: Science News and Science Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.