More than half of middle-aged women who still have regular menstrual cycles have hot flashes. Asian and Hispanic women are less likely to have them than white women, but compared with previous studies, the figures are surprisingly high.
The survey, conducted by researchers at Group Health (a large healthcare system in the Pacific Northwest) and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, consisted of a diverse group of women, including whites, blacks, Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, women of mixed ethnicity, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Japanese, East Indians, Chinese, and other Asians. The women were 45 to 56 years old, had regular cycles, had no skipped periods, and were not taking hormones.
A surprising 55% of them reported having hot flashes or night sweats. Fifty-eight percent of white women, the largest ethnic group, reported having hot flashes or night sweats. Compared with them, Asian and Hispanic women were significantly less likely to have these symptoms.
Among Asian women, 31% of Filipino, 26% of Japanese, 25% of East Indian, 23% of "other Asian," and 18% of Chinese women reported having hot flashes or night sweats. Twenty-six percent of Hispanic women reported these symptoms.
This study should help ease a worry for women who have been surprised by hot flashes and night sweats while they are still having regular cycles. It doesn't necessarily mean they are in menopause yet, and it's perfectly normal.
Source: Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), June 2013.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.