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Menopause Health Center

Do Hot Flashes Protect Women From Heart Disease?

New Study Suggests Hot Flashes May Decrease Some Women’s Risk for Heart Attacks and Stroke
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Hormone Replacement Therapy and Hot Flashes continued...

Older women are at an increased risk for heart disease. “This is the No. 1 killer of women and we are still advising women to do everything they can to reduce their risk through eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, and taking steps to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels,” she says.

As far as HRT goes, “If you have an increased risk for heart attack or stroke, stay off of it, but if you at normal risk and are having debilitating symptoms, there is definitely a role for HRT,” says Tara Narula, MD, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

Jill Maura Rabin, MD, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., says that is too early to draw any meaningful conclusions about the connection between hot flashes and heart disease.

“Let’s stay tuned and see what else is elucidated about vasomotor symptoms and cardiovascular disease,” she says.

In the meantime, there are treatments for hot flashes.

“If hot flashes are debilitating and impacting severely on your quality of life, the  American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the North American Menopause Society recommend using HRT at low doses for as short of a time as possible,” Rabin says.

Other hot flash treatments may include several herbal products, certain antidepressants, and soy foods. “Talk to your doctor about your risks and symptoms,” she says.

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