Smoking is a catalyst that increases frequency and severity of hot flashes.
A recently conducted study has confirmed that smoking women have hot flashes more often in their transition phase to menopause. Genetic role in triggering hot flashes was published in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).
According to this report, women smokers have a specific variation in their genes that influences metabolic mechanism to cause hot flashes. Earlier, there were researches linking cigarette smoking to earlier menopause and worse symptoms. This study moves a step forward, establishing a link between smoking and genes triggering hot flashes.
As per Samantha Butts, MD of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, their report illustrates the impact of smoking on hot flashes owing to involvement of a specific gene. This gene affects sex steroid metabolism in women, which increases vulnerability to hot flashes. Samantha Butts added that exposure to passive smoke and environmental pollutants are also responsible for severity and frequency of hot flashes.
The research assessed 300 women on the basis of their reproductive age for over a decade. Blood samples were obtained from study participants and they were evaluated on factors such as medical history, reproductive history, menopausal symptoms and habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Assessment found out the relation between smoking and single nucleotide polymorphisms gene (SNPs), a gene that increases the risk of hot flashes.
Half of the study participants were of African-American origin, while others were white. It was found that 84% of African-American smokers were more likely to experience hot flashes than non-smoking African-American women. On the other hand, smoking white women were 56% more likely to experience hot flashes than non-smokers.
Commenting on the research findings, Margery Gass of the North American Menopause Society commented that this research sends an important message to the women smokers. She also underlined that if women knew about potential risks like earlier menopause and more severe menopause symptoms due to smoking, they might give it up.
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