Hot Flashes in Women Tied to Higher Blood Pressure

Systolic/diastolic readings more than 10 points higher on average, study finds

WEDNESDAY, April 11, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Hot flashes in women are linked with high blood pressure, says a new study that may be the first to identify this association.

The study of 154 women -- ages 18 to 65 with a mean age of 46 -- found that the 51 women who reported having hot flashes had an age-adjusted mean systolic awake blood pressure of 141 and a mean systolic sleep blood pressure of 129, compared to 132 and 119, respectively, among women without hot flashes.

"One third of the women we studied reported having hot flashes within the past two weeks. Among these women, systolic blood pressure was significantly higher -- even after adjusting for whether they were premenopausal, menopausal or postmenopausal," senior author Dr. Linda Gerber, professor of public health and medicine, and director of the biostatistics and research methodology core at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said in a prepared statement.

"Future research will help us better understand the mechanisms underlying this relationship and may help to identify potential interventions that would reduce the impact of hot flashes on blood pressure," Gerber said.

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease, which accounts for half of all deaths among American women age 50 and older. Previous research has linked menopause to high blood pressure.

The study was published in the March/April issue of the journal Menopause.

More information

The American Heart Association has more about women and high blood pressure.

SOURCE: Weill Cornell Medical College, news release, April 2, 2007
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