Having Hot Flashes? You May Be at Higher Risk for Diabetes
Severe symptoms of menopause – hot flashes and night sweats, for example – have been linked to an increased risk for health problems like heart disease. Now, a new analysis from The North American Menopause Society suggests these symptoms also may be associated with an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
This study, recently published in Menopause, involved more than 150,000 postmenopausal women who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), 33 percent of whom had experienced hot flashes. According to researchers, diabetes risk was 18 percent higher in women with hot flashes, and this risk increased in correlation with the severity and duration of the menopause symptoms. Women who reported experiencing night sweats late in the perimenopausal period had the highest risk for diabetes.
Regular exercise, adequate sleep, a heart healthy diet, and avoiding excess alcohol and smoking can help lessen the severity menopause symptoms and reduce the risk for heart disease and diabetes, according to JoAnn Pinkerton, M.D., executive director of The North American Menopause Society.