Not all women who go through menopause experience hot flashes. Although it's not clear why some women get hot flashes and others don't, the following factors increase your risk of hot flashes:

  • Smoking. Women who smoke are more likely to get hot flashes.
  • Obesity. A high body mass index (BMI) is associated with a higher frequency of hot flashes.
  • Physical inactivity. If you don't exercise, you're more likely to have hot flashes during menopause.
  • Ethnicity. More African-American women report menopausal hot flashes than do women of European descent. Hot flashes are less common in women of Japanese and Chinese descent than in white European women.
Jun. 11, 2011