Objective: To review the scientific literature pertaining to potential risk factors for hot flashes in midlife women. Methods: Scientific publications reporting on risk factors for hot flashes were identified through a systematic Medline search and are summarized in this review paper. Results: Although few studies have investigated risk factors for hot flashes in midlife women, consistent evidence suggests that smoking is associated with an increased risk for hot flashes. In addition, some studies suggest that other factors, such as hormone levels, body size, tubal ligation, surgical menopause, and race/ethnicity, may be associated with the occurrence of hot flashes. Conclusions: Future studies are needed to confirm previous findings and to identify additional risk factors for hot flashes. Such studies will increase our understanding of the etiology of hot flashes and may lead to better treatments and preventive measures for this condition.
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