Vasomotor menopausal symptoms are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease

Menopause. 2011 Feb;18(2):146-51. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181f464fb.


Objective: Emerging evidence suggests that women with vasomotor menopausal symptoms (VMS) may have an adverse cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk profile. We investigated whether VMS are related to an increased risk of future coronary heart disease (CHD) and whether possible associations can be explained by CVD risk factors.

Methods: Data used were from a Dutch and Swedish population-based sample of 10,787 women enrolled between 1995 and 2000, aged 46 to 64 years, and free of CVD at baseline. Data on VMS were collected by questionnaires. Body mass index and blood pressure were measured in all women, and total cholesterol levels were measured in a subgroup of the population. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to analyze the data.

Results: After a mean ± SD follow-up period of 10.3 ± 2.1 years, 303 women were diagnosed with CHD. Symptoms of flushing were not associated with risk of CHD. However, the presence of night sweats was associated with a significantly modest increased risk of CHD, with a multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio of 1.33 (95% CI, 1.05-1.69). This association was attenuated but not eliminated after correction for body mass index, blood pressure, and total cholesterol (hazard ratio, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.99-1.58).

Conclusions: Women with menopausal symptoms of night sweats have a significantly moderately increased risk of CHD, which cannot be totally explained by the levels of CVD risk factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Coronary Disease / blood
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Menopause / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweating / physiology
  • Vasomotor System / physiopathology*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data


  • Cholesterol