HealthDay News — Among women with menopausal vasomotor symptoms (VMS), severity rather than frequency of hot flushes and night sweats is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a study published online June 23 in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Dongshan Zhu, Ph.D., from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues examined the associations between different components of and timing of VMS with the risk for CVD using pooled individual-level data from 23,365 women in six prospective studies.
The researchers observed no evidence of an association between the frequency of hot flushes and incident CVD in the adjusted model, while women who reported night sweats sometimes or often had increased CVD risk (hazard ratios [HRs], 1.22 and 1.29, respectively). A higher risk for CVD was seen in association with increased severity of either hot flushes or night sweats. In women with severe hot flushes, night sweats, and any VMS, the HRs for CVD were 1.83, 1.59, and 2.11, respectively. Compared with those with hot flushes alone and night sweats alone, those who reported severity for both hot flushes and night sweats had a higher risk for CVD (HR, 1.55).
“Our findings imply that identification of women with high severity of VMS during the menopausal transition offers a window of opportunity to implement active management of other CVD risk factors in these women in order to improve their overall cardiovascular health,” the authors write.