Hot flashes aren’t just the bane of post-menopausal women, it appears. More than half of middle-aged women who still have regular cycles also have hot flashes, a new study has found.
The findings — based on a survey of some 1,500 women published online in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society — indicate black, white, and Native American women are more likely to experience hot flashes at younger ages than Asians and Hispanics.
But the figures are surprisingly high for all women, compared with previous studies, said researchers with the Group Health healthcare organization and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who conducted the survey of women 45 to 56 years old.
Among the results:
- A surprising 55 percent of the women reported having hot flashes or night sweats.
- Those groups with the highest proportions reporting hot flashes or night sweats were Native Americans (67 percent), blacks (61 percent), and whites (58 percent).
- Asian and Hispanic women were significantly less likely to have these symptoms — with Filipinos (31 percent), Japanese and Hispanics, (26 percent), East Indians (23 percent), and Chinese (18 percent) women reporting the fewest symptoms.
- White women who had symptoms were more likely to include soy in their diet, and white women who never had symptoms were more likely to have no soy in their diet.
- Researchers said the study findings should ease worries for younger women surprised by hot flashes and night sweats, believing they may indicate they are entering menopause.
"Some women even have a hot flash the first couple of nights after childbirth," said Margery Gass, M.D., executive director of the North American Menopause Society.
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