Objective: Studies suggest that African American women may have a greater risk of hot flashes compared to Caucasian women, but the reasons for this are unknown. This study tested the hypothesis that African American women have an increased risk of hot flashes due to racial differences in risk factors for hot flashes, including high body mass index (BMI) and lower estrogen levels. Methods: A population-based study was conducted among women aged 45-54 years. Participants were divided into women who reported ever experiencing hot flashes (n = 356) and women who reported never experiencing hot flashes (n = 257). Participants provided a blood sample for hormone assays, were weighed and measured, and completed a questionnaire. Results: Among peri-menopausal women, African American women were more likely than Caucasian women to report any hot flashes (RR = 2.08), severe hot flashes (RR = 2.19), and hot flashes for more than 5 years (RR = 1.61). The risk ratios for the associations between race and the hot flash outcomes were attenuated after controlling for other important hot flash risk factors (i.e. obesity and low estrogen levels). Conclusions: African American women have an increased risk of hot flashes compared to Caucasian women due to racial differences in a number of risk factors for hot flashes, including advanced age, obesity, current smoking, less than 12 drinks in the past year, and lower estrogen levels.
- Hot flashes
- Risk factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Obstetrics and Gynecology