December 22

Hot Flashes May Predict Fracture Risk

A new study published online in this week in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that women who suffered from self-reported scores of moderate to severe hot flashes were twice as likely to suffer from hip fractures. Osteoporosis and low bone density can affect 50% of post-menopausal women. This study looked at 23,000 women between ages of 50-79 and correlated their symptoms of hot flashes with their bone density and followed them for 8 years. Hot flashes are common in up to 60% of women going through menopause and are thought to be due to a decline in hormone levels. Lower bone density is associated with menopause along with an increased fracture incidence which is also thought to be attributable to lower estrogen levels. The study showed that fracture risk in the women with moderate to severe symptoms had a hip fracture risk elevation of 1.78 times as likely as those women who did not have as severe hot flashes.

Other studies have shown that women with elevated BMI or body mass index had decrease hot flashes than those with lower BMI. Although not conclusive, lower BMI is associated with less body fat which can be linked to lower estrogen levels and therefore may increase symptoms of hot flashes.

Reducing risk for osteoporosis in post-menopausal women is very important, especially those with moderate to severe hot flashes. Lifestyle modifications with smoking cessation, increasing weight-bearing exercises, getting optimal vitamin D, along with checking bone density every other year is a good place to start.

Talk to your provider about hormone testing and acupuncture for a more personalized approach to managing hot flashes.


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