Skip to content

The aim of a recent survey by Smith and colleagues was to identify risk factors associated with the duration of hot flushes and the time of peak hot flush severity in mid-life women [1]. Data were extracted from a US cohort of 647 women reporting hot flushes at baseline and followed for 1–7 years. The following risk factors were considered: menopause status, race, education, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, leisure and work activity, and sex hormone levels. Average hot flush duration was 2.5 years (range 1–33 years). Peak severity (time from first experience of flush) was on average at 2.96 years (range 1–20 years). Duration of hot flushes was associated with race, education, menopause status, smoking history, BMI, alcohol consumption, leisure activity levels, and levels of estradiol and progesterone. In the final model, only race, alcohol consumption and menopause were retained. White women had significantly shorter hot flush durations than non-white women. Women consuming at least 12 alcoholic drinks in the previous year had a significantly shorter duration of hot flushes with a smaller effect of hot flush duration on increasing in time to peak severity compared to those who consumed less than 12 alcoholic drinks in that year. Higher serum progesterone levels were associated with later peak severity if the duration of the hot flushes was less than 2 years and an earlier peak severity otherwise.


  • Amos Pines
    Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel


  1. Smith RL, Gallicchio L, Miller SR, Zacur HA, Flaws JA. Risk factors for extended duration and timing of peak severity of hot flashes. PLoS One 2016;11:e0155079
  2. Avis NE, Crawford SL, Greendale G, et al. Duration of menopausal vasomotor symptoms over the menopause transition. JAMA Intern Med 2015;175:531-9
  3. van den Berg MJ, Herber-Gast GC, van der Schouw YT. Is an unfavourable cardiovascular risk profile a risk factor for vasomotor menopausal symptoms? Results of a population-based cohort study. BJOG 2015;122:1252-8
  4. Ziv-Gal A, Flaws JA. Factors that may influence the experience of hot flushes by healthy middle-aged women. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2010;19:1905-14
  5. Moilanen J, Aalto AM, Hemminki E, Aro AR, Raitanen J, Luoto R. Prevalence of menopause symptoms and their association with lifestyle among Finnish middle-aged women. Maturitas 2010;67:368–74
  6. Charkoudian N, Stachenfeld N. Sex hormone effects on autonomic mechanisms of thermoregulation in humans. Auton Neurosci 2016;196:75-80
International Menopause Society

Install International Menopause Society - DEV

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap then “Add to Home Screen”