Hot flashes before menopause? It can happen

June 12, 2013

More than half of middle-aged women who still have regular cycles have hot flashes. Asian and Hispanic women are less likely to have them than white women, but compared with previous studies, the figures are surprisingly high, showed a survey of some 1,500 women published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

The survey, conducted by researchers at Group Health (a large in the Pacific Northwest) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, consisted of a diverse group of women, including whites, blacks, Hawaiian/, women of mixed ethnicity, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Japanese, East Indians, Chinese, and other Asians. The women were 45 to 56 years old, had regular cycles, had no skipped periods, and were not taking hormones.

A surprising 55% of them reported having hot flashes or night sweats. (Previous studies pegged the highest rates at below 50%.) The groups with the highest proportions reporting hot flashes or night sweats were Native Americans (67%) and black (61%) women, but the differences between these groups and white women weren't statistically significant. Fifty-eight percent of white women, the largest ethnic group, reported having hot flashes or night sweats.

Compared with them, Asian and were significantly less likely to have these symptoms. Among Asian women, 31% of Filipino, 26% of Japanese, 25% of East Indian, 23% of "other Asian," and 18% of reported having hot flashes or night sweats. Twenty-six percent of Hispanic women reported these symptoms.

Interestingly, white women who had symptoms were more likely to include soy in their diet, and who never had symptoms were more likely to have no soy in their diet.

This study should help ease a worry for women who have been surprised by and night sweats while they are still having regular cycles. It doesn't necessarily mean they are in menopause yet, and it's perfectly normal. "Some women even have a hot flash the first couple of nights after childbirth," said Dr. Margery Gass, NAMS Executive Director.

The study will be published in the February 2014 print edition of Menopause.

Explore further: High blood pressure in pregnancy may spell hot flashes later

Related Stories

High blood pressure in pregnancy may spell hot flashes later

April 3, 2013
Women who have hypertensive diseases during pregnancy seem to be at higher risk of having troublesome hot flashes and night sweats at menopause, report researchers from the Netherlands in an article published online today ...

It's not your imagination: Memory gets muddled at menopause

May 23, 2013
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with ...

Hot flashes can come back after SSRI

October 24, 2012
Hot flashes and night sweats can return after women stop using escitalopram—an antidepressant—to treat these menopause symptoms, according to a study published online this month in Menopause, the journal of the North ...

Hot flashes take toll on life, health, and work

February 22, 2013
Hot flashes put a damper on women's health and productivity at work and pump up the cost of health care. A study published online this month in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), has put ...

Hot flashes? Active days bring better nights

March 27, 2013
Getting a good night's sleep isn't always easy for women at menopause. Exercise may help, but women can have a tough time carving out leisure time for it. The good news from a study published online today in Menopause, the ...

Study shines new light on menopause symptoms

April 16, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—New UQ research reveals menopausal women who gain weight, smoke and consume alcohol at risky levels face an increased risk of experiencing night sweats and hot flushes.

Recommended for you

Phase 3 trial confirms superiority of tocilizumab to steroids for giant cell arteritis

July 26, 2017
A phase 3 clinical trial has confirmed that regular treatment with tocilizumab, an inhibitor of interleukin-6, successfully reduced both symptoms of and the need for high-dose steroid treatment for giant cell arteritis, the ...

A large-scale 'germ trap' solution for hospitals

July 26, 2017
When an infectious airborne illness strikes, some hospitals use negative pressure rooms to isolate and treat patients. These rooms use ventilation controls to keep germ-filled air contained rather than letting it circulate ...

Researchers report new system to study chronic hepatitis B

July 25, 2017
Scientists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology have successfully tested a cell-culture system that will allow researchers to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. ...

Male hepatitis B patients suffer worse liver ailments, regardless of lifestyle

July 25, 2017
Why men with hepatitis B remain more than twice as likely to develop severe liver disease than women remains a mystery, even after a study led by a recent Drexel University graduate took lifestyle choices and environments ...

Mind-body therapies immediately reduce unmanageable pain in hospital patients

July 25, 2017
Mindfulness training and hypnotic suggestion significantly reduced acute pain experienced by hospital patients, according to a new study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Research examines lung cell turnover as risk factor and target for treatment of influenza pneumonia

July 24, 2017
Influenza is a recurring global health threat that, according to the World Health Organization, is responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths every year, most due to influenza pneumonia, or viral pneumonia. Infection with ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.