A study has found a link between conditions women suffer in pregnancy and later in life during the menopause.
Women who suffer from diseases such as preeclampsia during pregnancy are more likely to encounter troublesome hot flashes and night sweats during the menopause, the study suggests.
Researchers from Holland examined the relationship between hypertensive diseases in pregnancy and vasomotor symptoms (hot flashes and night sweats) among 853 women who visited a clinic in the town of Kampen.
The study, published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society, is the first of its kind and found that 274 women had a history of hypertensive diseases during pregnancy. More of them (82%) had hot flushes and night sweats than women who never had these diseases during pregnancy (75%) - a difference the researchers described as "modest but significant".
Women who suffered from hypertensive diseases while they were carrying a baby also had more severe and prolonged hot flashes and night sweats.
However half of the women had cardiac symptoms so it is not clear whether this association applies to all middle aged women.
But the report warns that doctors should bear in mind that hypertensive diseases during pregnancy and vasomotor symptoms are often a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
The study will be published in the October 2013 print edition of Menopause.
Copyright Press Association 2013