Could Hot Flashes Indicate a Higher Risk of Heart Disease for Women?

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doctor with mature womanHot flashes are a common symptom of menopause, but for many women, they could also be a sign of a more serious health risk. Here is what the latest research says about the possible link between menopause and women’s heart health.

Early Menopause and Heart Disease

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have found that women who experience early menopause, which can be at any age before 54, may have an increased risk for developing heart disease. The reason for this seems to be the lowered blood vessel function that results from frequent hot flashes.

Interestingly, though, women between the ages of 54 and 60 did not show signs of poor blood vessel function related to hot flashes. This leads researchers to believe that early hot flashes could be a red flag for potential heart problems in women, although more research is needed to determine the exact cause and mechanisms behind this link.

How Women Can Boost Their Heart Health

Because heart disease in women often goes unnoticed until its later stages, it’s important to take an active role in your heart health before warning signs develop.

If you do have early and frequent hot flashes, schedule preventative screenings to stay on top of your heart health, and maintain annual checkups.

Women can make heart-healthy choices every day to help boost their heart health, such as:

  • Eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Not smoking
  • Reducing stress
  • Knowing other warning signs of heart disease like chest pain, shortness of breath, anxiety and fatigue