Details of Publication 741 for Project W081:

Herber-Gast G, Brown W & Mishra G. Hot flushes and night sweats are associated with coronary heart disease risk in midlife: a longitudinal study. BJOG, 2015; 122(11): 1560-1567

Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate associations between vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS), that is hot flushes and night sweats, and incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD). Design and population: A prospective cohort study of 11 725 women, who were aged 45-50 years at baseline in 1996, were followed up at three-year intervals for 14 years. Methods and main outcome measure: Self-reported VMS and incident CHD were measured at each survey. We determined the association between VMS and CHD at the subsequent survey, using generalised estimating equation analysis, adjusting for time-varying covariates.Results: At baseline, 14% reported rarely, 17% reported sometimes and 7% reported often having night sweats. During follow-up, 187 CHD events occurred. In the age-adjusted analysis, women who reported hot flushes and night sweats often, had a >2-fold greater odds of CHD (OR hot flushes 2.18 (95% CI 1.49-3.18); OR night sweats 2.38 (95% CI 1.62-3.50)) than women with no symptoms (P for trend <0.001 over frequency of symptoms). Adjustment for menopausal status, lifestyle factors, body mass index, diabetes and hypertension attenuated the associations (OR hot flushes 1.70 (95% CI 1.16-2.51), P for trend 0.01; OR night sweats 1.84 (95% CI 1.24-2.73), P for trend 0.004).Conclusions: Women who report having hot flushes or night sweats often have an increased risk of developing CHD over a period of 14 years, even after taking the effects of age, menopause status, lifestyle and other chronic disease risk factors into account.