This article from US News and World Report.com may be of some comfort to those of you suffering with hot flashes: a study presented recently at the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society indicated that there is likely no increased risk of cardiovascular disease for women who experience hot flashes around the peri/menopausal transition. However, if the hot flashes persist for many years (without hormonal optimization) or they begin many years after menopause, there may be a higher risk for cardiovascular issues.
It's important to remember, however, that this study is looking at ONE factor----hot flashes and their onset. We know that the lack of hormones can and does cause all sorts of issues, and it is known that estrogen is heart protective. Way too many women seek out hormonal care only because of hot flashes or weight issues, not taking into consideration all the other ways hormone optimization can improve their health.......decreased inflammation in the body (think arthritis), cholesterol (thyroid is a hormone, and increased cholesterol can be a sign of thyroid imbalance), heart disease, body mass, bone health (this is a big one for me, my mother had severe osteoporosis), increased well being, sexual health, vaginal atrophy, and the list goes on and on.