Heart 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 isn't connected to heart disease is still unclear. Persistent menopause symptoms also correlated to higher insulin and glucose levels, which can lead to diabetes.
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