Why You Shouldn't Ignore Hot Flashes If You're Experiencing Them Long Before Menopause, According To Science

Ad failed to load

When you think of the term "hot flashes," younger women aren't often what springs to mind; we typically associate hot flashes with menopause, which doesn't usually kick in your early 50s. However, new research explains that you shouldn't ignore hot flashes if you experience them if you're nowhere near menopausal age (it normally hits around 48 to 55 years old, FYI) — and the reason why may come as something of a surprise.

According to Mayo Clinic, hot flashes are defined by "sudden feelings of warmth, which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest. Your skin may redden, as if you're blushing. Hot flashes can also cause profuse sweating and may leave you chilled." Although several other hormonal conditions can cause them, a hot flash is usually linked to menopause, which is the stage in life when people who are capable of menstruating naturally stop getting their period. A premature menopause is defined as one which hits before the age of 41; early menopause is more likely to occur at an earlier age in people who smoke, have never been pregnant, or live at high altitudes.

However, new research may cause people who are younger than the typical menopause age to be extra vigilant if they experience hot flashes: There's evidence to suggest that hot flashes may indicate a higher risk for heart disease. However, by "younger," researchers are talking about those aged around the 40-to-53-year-old age rage; so although it might not directly affect some of us now, it's definitely something to look out for.

Ad failed to load

A study published in the journal Menopause analyzed the correlation between hot flashes and the function of the endothelium, which is a layer of cells that line the blood vessels reports Health Central. The site noted that good endothelial function is conducive to good cardiovascular health and can prevent conditions like atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of the arteries and which can severely effect the functionality of the heart.

The study, which was led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, involved 272 non-smoking women between the ages of 40 and 60 who also had no history of heart disease and had never previously experienced any hot flashes. Researchers kept track of the women's biological signs of hot flashes and created tests to measure their endothelial function within their arteries. Interestingly, they found that the participants between the ages of 40 and 53 years old who experienced hot flashes were actually at an increased risk for cardiovascular problems that are linked to heart disease. For those women aged between 54 and 60 years of age, scientists did not find a link between hot flashes and those cardiovascular problems.

Ad failed to load

So although the study doesn't offer conclusive evidence to support the idea that all hot flashes in younger people are dangerous and can lead to heart problems, the research does offer a strong case that people who menstruate aged 40 t0 53 can be more at risk if they experience hot episodes. Study leaders concluded that they hope their findings can "provide information about women's vascular status beyond cardiovascular disease risk factors and estradiol." And of the course, the more information we have in relation to this, the more likely it is that fewer people will have to suffer from heart problems at all.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

Your Weekend Love Horoscope For May 19-20, 2018

We’re constantly fascinated by what our zodiac sign says about our lives, whether it's which signs are most compatible or how each sign handles conflict in relationships. That's why Bustle has enlisted Mecca Woods, a New York City-based astrologer of…
By Mecca Woods

7 Last-Minute Royal Wedding Party Ideas Worth Waking Up Early For

We're only two days away from the royal wedding, so it's safe to assume Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are finished with their planning (we hope). But if you're a commoner who's procrastinated on planning a watch party, you still have time to decorat…
By Ayana Lage

10 Little-Known British Traditions Meghan Markle Will Learn When She Marries Prince Harry

As an American woman dating a Brit, I am no stranger to the mishaps that can result from the cultural differences between the U.S. and England. And while I'm sure Meghan Markle has a slew of royal traditions to learn, titles to remember, and fancy ha…
By Kristin Magaldi

16 Brand New YA Rom-Coms To Add To Your Summer Reading List

Ah, summer. Post-Memorial Day it's all about being outside in the sunshine, lazy pool days and exciting beach trips, warm weather treats, and — most important of all — tote bags packed to the brim with all of the biggest and best summer reads. Whatev…
By Kerri Jarema

I've Paid $18,000 To A $24,000 Student Loan, & I Still Owe $24,000

It all became real the summer before my senior year of college. It was 2010, and my home phone still had a cord, which I wrapped around my fingers as I waited not-so-patiently for the apathetic representative on the other end to tell me the bad news …
By Kaitlyn Cawley

12 Personality Quizzes That Will Help You Determine Your Exact Strengths

Learning more about yourself can be tough. It's so easy to observe others to learn what makes them tick, what areas they really excel in, and the things they could be better at. Doing that to yourself, however, is a whole different story. That's exac…
By Jessica Booth

5 Brand New Short Story Collections You Can Finish In One Sitting This Weekend

Since 2013, May has been known by book-lovers by another name: Short Story Month. If you're ready to kick off this year's celebration the right way, make sure to pick up a short story collection to read over the weekend. Modern life moves more than …
By Sadie Trombetta

I Got Styled By 'Queer Eye's Tan France & Realized I Still Have A Lot Of Fashion "Rules" To Unlearn

When I walked into a New York City Express store on May 2 to get styled by Queer Eye's Tan France, I was ready for anything. And I mean truly anything. I am such a massive fan of the show and Tan that if he had instructed me to wrap myself in tin foi…
By Olivia Muenter

It Isn’t Bad To Have A “Princess Fantasy” — Mine Made Me The Woman I Am Today

What do you want to be when you grow up? If you were anything like me as a kid, at some point, the answer to that question was "a princess." Thanks to good old-fashioned gender stereotypes, most little girls born in the '90s (and even now) grew up in…
By Nicole Pomarico

9 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Mom That Also Give Back

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and unless you’re the type who’s got gift-giving on lock months in advance — and seriously, who is that person? — you might be scrambling a bit for great Mother's day 2018 gift ideas. And while it’s important to cho…
By Carolyn de Lorenzo

Here’s How To Get A FREE 30-Minute Facial At Sephora That Sucks Your Pores Clean

Sephora has long been a mecca for both serious and amateur beauty lovers alike, where they not only have makeup artists that help answer questions about products, but free samples to let you play with new collections. But now they have upped the ante…
By Marlen Komar

Kris Jenner Is FINALLY Launching A Makeup Line With Kylie

Maybe you don't have a favorite sister of the Kar-Jenner clan, and that's perfectly fine. The one thing you can't deny, though, is that when it comes power, no one in that family has more than the world famous momager. Now, Kris Jenner x Kylie Cosmet…
By Shea Simmons

This Kendall Jenner “Diva” Moment Is Really Being Taken Out Of Context

The fashion always takes center stage at the Met Gala, but there's usually a little drama, too. And this time, a member of the Kardashian-Jenner family is involved. People are buzzing about how Kendall Jenner shoved someone at the Met Gala, but after…
By Nicole Pomarico

Feel Like You've Seen Everything On Netflix? Add These Movies To Your Watch List

The weekend may feel too far away, but if you're lacking formal plans, a Netflix marathon session is always a good idea. If you're an avid viewer, however, you probably feel like you've seen everything the streaming platform has to offer already. In …
By Ashley Rey

These 4 Zodiac Signs Are Going To Have The Best Luck In Love This May

Spring fever is here, but not all signs in the zodiac are dealt the same dose of lovin'. Some signs are going to have a better love lives than the rest of us in May, because that's just the way the cookie crumbles. According to astrologer Linda Furia…
By Kaitlyn Wylde

9 Hacks For Fighting Jet Lag That Actually Work

Jet lag is the worst. There's no doubt about it. And it's only natural to want to find a way to prevent it. Searching for jet lag cures online often means encountering expensive products and sketchy supplements. Luckily, there are ways to train your …
By Eva Taylor Grant

Hillary Clinton Says She's Ready To Fight Like A Republican — EXCLUSIVE

Hillary Clinton Is Not Going Away Quietly. Can Hillary Clinton Please Go Quietly Into The Night? Unlike Losers Before Her, Clinton Is Not Going Gently Into the Night. These headlines, which appeared in various news outlets over the course of the last…
By Catherine Thompson and Jenny Hollander

Here's The Very Best Time To Book Your Summer Vacation If You're Trying To Save Money

Summer is a great time to travel, for obvious reasons. The weather is better. Many offices are more lax about time off. If you have kids, they’re out of school. But there’s one very important element that makes summer not a great time to travel: Cost…
By Emma McGowan