Vasomotor Symptoms Linked to Significantly Increased Risk of Cardiovascular

July 3, 2020
Women who have hot flushes and night sweats after menopause are 70% more likely to have angina, myocardial infarctions, and strokes, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study found that women of any age who experience vasomotor symptoms (VMS) are more likely to experience non-fatal cardiovascular events. “Until now, it’s been unclear if VMS is associated with cardiovascular disease, but now we know it to be true,” said Dongshan Zhu, PhD, Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia. “Further, VMS before menopause increases a woman’s chance of cardiovascular events by 40%.” The researchers also found that the risk of cardiovascular events was more related to the severity of the hot flushes and night sweats rather than the frequency or duration. “We found that women with severe VMS were more than twice as likely to experience a non-fatal cardiovascular event compared with women who had no symptoms,” he said. The researchers analysed individual-level data from 23,365 women in 6 prospective studies which contributed to the InterLACE consortium. Women who experienced cardiovascular events before baseline were excluded. In the adjusted model, no evidence of association was found between frequency of hot flushes and incident cardiovascular disease, while women who reported night sweats “sometimes” or “often” had a 22% and 29% higher risk of cardiovascular disease, respectively. Increased severity of either hot flushes or night sweats was associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease. The hazards ratios [HR] of cardiovascular disease in women with severe hot flushes, night sweats, and any VMS were 1.83, 1.59, and 2.11, respectively. Women who reported severity for both hot flushes and night sweats had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (HR = 1.55) than those with hot flushes alone (HR = 1.33) and night sweats alone (HR = 1.32). Women with either early onset (HR = 1.38) or late onset (HR = 1.69) VMS had an increased risk of incident cardiovascular disease, compared with women who did not experience VMS. “This research helps to identify women who are at a higher risk for the development of cardiovascular events and who may need close monitoring in clinical practice,” said Dr. Mishra. Reference: https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(20)30664-5/pdf SOURCE: University of Queensland