A recent study has revealed that among women aged 60 and above, the heavier a woman is, the fewer the hot flashes she experiences as compared to her leaner counterparts.
The study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) shows that there is an inverse association between body size and hot flashes among older women.
Hundreds of researches conducted on perimenopausal women in the last decade have shown that heavier women tend to have more hot flashes, as a result of which researchers began to clinically observe obesity as a risk factor for hot flashes.
However, according to this new study, after a woman reaches an age where she becomes menopausal and her ovary no longer produces estrogen, it appears that the heavier the woman is, the fewer hot flashes she experiences.
"This study provides a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between body size and hot flashes, emphasizing the important role of age," Rebecca Thurston, the study's lead author said.
"Our findings show that the benefit of higher fat levels for hot flashes is not apparent until a woman is about 60 years old," she stated.
Researchers examined 52 women for this study who had reported hot flashes and were on medication impacting hot flashes.
The study participants had their body fat percentage, waist circumference, BMI measured and were physiologically assessed for hot flashes by use of a monitor that measured skin conductance. Participants also self-reported hot flashes by using a portable electronic diary.
"Our study showed that higher adiposity, BMI and waist circumference were associated with fewer physiologically-assessed hot flashes among older postmenopausal women with hot flashes.
"Moreover, associations were most pronounced among Caucasian women. This study underscores the importance of considering how age and race may modify the relationship between obesity and hot flashes," Thurston added.