Hot flashes and night sweats are among the many symptoms that appear at menopause. These are not to be taken lightly because, as a recent study states, women who suffer from them seriously would be more exposed to the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease such as a stroke.

Menopause is the period of a woman's life marked by the cessation of ovulation and the disappearance of menstruation, preceded by a phase of perimenopause. This is frequently accompanied by symptoms related to hormonal changes associated with the cessation of ovarian function, the intensity of which varies according to women. Although some of them completely escape it, Health Insurance specifies that hot flashes and night sweats are present in eight out of ten women. "These manifestations are manifested by an abrupt sensation of heat of the whole body, followed by redness especially of the face and the neck, sweating and chills. ", She says.

However, from a cardiovascular point of view, menopause is a period to watch because women tend to gain weight, to have an excess of bad cholesterol, to develop diabetes… All these factors multiply the cholesterol plaques in arteries and therefore, the risk of cardiovascular disease. New study by University of Queensland researchers finds that women who experience hot flashes and night sweats during menopause, also called vasomotor disorder or symptoms, are 70% more likely to experience seizures heart disease, angina pectoris and stroke.
The severity of the symptoms more important than their duration

"Until now, it was unknown if vasomotor symptoms were associated with cardiovascular disease, but now we know that to be true. Says Dr. Dongshan Zhu who conducted the study. “Vasomotor symptoms before menopause increase the risk of cardiovascular events for a woman by 40%. The specialist also found that the risk of cardiovascular events was more linked to the severity of hot flashes and night sweats than to the frequency or duration. “Severely affected women were more than twice as likely to have a non-fatal cardiovascular event compared to those without any symptoms. ", He adds.

To reach this conclusion, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the researchers used data from InterLACE, a major collaboration of 25 studies of more than 500,000 women worldwide, and aggregated the data of 23,365 women from six studies who contributed to this consortium. They analyzed the frequency (never, rarely, sometimes and often), the severity (never, mild, moderate and severe) and the time of onset early or late (before or after the age of menopause) of menopausal vasomotor symptoms and looked closely if they were associated with a more frequent occurrence of cardiovascular events.
A discovery which makes it possible “to identify women at higher risk”

They also found that women who reported both hot flashes and heavy night sweats were at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who had only one or the other of these symptoms. . The scientific team believes that these results may have important clinical implications. "This research helps identify women who are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular events and who may need close monitoring. ", She concludes. But as the French Cardiology Federation explains, this cardiac vulnerability is still underestimated during this key period of hormonal life.

A survey conducted by the organization in 2018 indeed revealed that menopause feeds contrasting perceptions: 46% of women questioned consider this female “life stage” as more at risk while 44% consider it without impact. As at any age, it is however recommended to adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent cardiovascular diseases: a healthy diet, smoking cessation if necessary, and regular physical activity are essential after menopause. Health Insurance also recommends that you have regular follow-up (once a year) by your doctor or gynecologist, especially to measure blood pressure, weight and height.