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Hypertensive diseases linked to hot flushes at menopause

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Women suffering from hypertensive diseases during pregnancy are at a greater risk of experiencing troublesome hot flushes and night sweats at menopause, researchers claim.

A study - the first of its kind - by scientists from the Netherlands examined the relationship between hypertensive diseases, such as pre-eclampsia and vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes, night sweats) in pregnancy.

They looked a total of 853 women, of which 274 had a history of hypertensive diseases during pregnancy.

As many as 82% of women who had hypertensive diseases during pregnancy experienced hot flushes and night sweats, compared to 75% of those who never experienced such diseases.

In addition, women who had hypertensive diseases during pregnancy also tended to have more severe and longer-lasting hot flushes and night sweats.

The findings hint at a biological link between the conditions: hypertensive diseases during pregnancy are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and so are vasomotor symptoms which come on only after menopause.

However, it is not clear whether this association applies to all middle-aged women as half of the participants in the study had cardiac symptoms.

The study is published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

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