Hot Flashes and the Heart

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Story Updated: Jul 2, 2012

Hot flashes and heart disease?

Women and their doctors have often wondered if there's a connection when women hit menopause.

But a new study, just released during the Endocrine Society's annual meeting, suggests that it's all in the timing.

Researchers tracked data from women who participated in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study, the largest research study of women ever sponsored by the federal government.

The conclusion: those hot flashes and night sweats that most women experience early in menopause are not linked to increased levels of cardiovascular disease.

But if the hot flashes persist, or start many years after menopause begins, risk of heart disease is higher.

The reason why early hot flashes aren't connected to heart disease is still unclear.

Persistent menopausal symptoms also correlated to higher insulin and glucose levels...which can lead to diabetes.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news from today that can lead to health tomorrows.

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