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doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e31825541cc
Original Articles

Hot flushes and night sweats differ in associations with cardiovascular markers in healthy early postmenopausal women

Hitchcock, Christine Laura PhD1,2; Elliott, Thomas G. MBBS1; Norman, Eric G. PhD1; Stajic, Vesna MD1; Teede, Helena MBBS, PhD, FRACP3; Prior, Jerilynn C. BA, MD1,2

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Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between vasomotor symptoms ([VMS] hot flushes or flashes and night sweats) and markers of cardiovascular risk.

Methods: Healthy postmenopausal women in a randomized controlled trial of progesterone for VMS recorded VMS frequency in the Daily Menopause Diary for 28 days at baseline. Accepted risks for cardiovascular disease were measured: body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), waist-to-height ratio (WHtR), blood pressure (BP), endothelial function by venous occlusion plethysmography, fasting lipids, glucose, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, albumin, and D-dimer. Relationships between risk variables and VMS frequency (24 h, day and night) were assessed by univariate and multivariate robust regressions with adjustment for age and WHtR.

Results: Data were available for 145 healthy, nonsmoking women without heart disease, hypertension, or diabetes who were 1 to 11 years past their final menstruation and were aged 43 to 65 years, with a mean (SD) BMI of 25.0 (2.9) kg/m2 and WC of 79.1 (7.1) cm. Anthropometric variables (BMI, WC, and WHtR) were significantly negatively associated with total (24-h day) VMS frequency and with day VMS but not with night VMS frequency. Systolic BP decreased with greater 24-hour VMS frequency, and both systolic and diastolic BPs were inversely related to day but not night VMS frequency. Albumin was positively associated with night VMS frequency but not with day or 24-hour VMS frequency. Other variables showed little association with VMS frequency.

Conclusions: Hot flushes, but not night sweats, were associated with lower cardiovascular risk factors in these healthy postmenopausal women. Future research should differentiate night sweats from hot flushes.

©2012The North American Menopause Society


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