This study showed that during daily activities, systolic blood pressure of the symptomatic group was significantly higher than that in the asymptomatic group. Statistically insignificant differences were also found between the two groups in terms of heartbeat and systolic blood pressure.
Another study examined the 24-hour blood pressure of menopausal women and indicated diastolic blood pressure during the night hours to be higher in the symptomatic group compared to the asymptomatic group. The study also showed that during activities, the heartbeat of the symptomatic group was higher than the other group. However, the nature of hot flashes and their correlation with changes in blood pressure are still not clear. Freedman et al. believed the core body temperature to act as a trigger which increases before the start of hot flashes.9
In other studies, Freedman et al. reported the central sympathetic activity to be more in the symptomatic group compared to the asymptomatic group.11
They also suggested reducing sympathetic activity using clonidine and alpha-2 adrenergic agonist to decrease hot flashes.12
Moreover, Freedman and Woodward found higher diastolic blood pressure in the symptomatic group compared to the asymptomatic group due to increased central sympathetic activity. However, they did not explain the differences between the two groups in systolic blood pressure and heartbeat.13
In contrast, the present study showed that systolic blood pressure in the symptomatic group was significantly higher than the other group. A study showed a decrease in systolic blood pressure of a menopausal woman and an increase in her heartbeat during 24 hours, and considered this phenomenon as a result of baroreflex dysfunction. They believed that baroreflex dysfunction caused a peripheral vasoconstriction with a compensatory role which led to increases in heartbeat and heart output (due to the high heartbeat) and raised systolic blood pressure during the day hours. There was not a difference in systolic blood pressure during the night when participants were sleeping.7
Although the correlation between increased central sympathetic activity and hypertension has not been exactly determined to date,14
higher central sympathetic activity, Increases mortality and morbidity of hypertension.15
In addition, increased alpha sympathetic activity early in the morning can be a reason for more cardiovascular complications at this time of the day.14
A study in Italy, on 18326 people matched for age and BMI showed that systolic blood pressure in postmenopausal women was higher than in premenopausal women. Likewise, the present study indicated higher systolic blood pressure in the symptomatic group compared to the asymptomatic group.
Now, the question is whether the symptomatic group would suffer from hypertension in the future, and whether the prevalence of hypertension in this group would be more than that in the other group. A study showed high systolic blood pressure to have a growing trend in more anxious, more often nervous middle-aged men.16
Moreover, in these men, the increase in systolic blood pressure in reaction to mental stresses had a positive relationship with high systolic blood pressure in the next 10 years.16
Hot flashes and increased systolic blood pressure occur when the sympathetic activity increases. Therefore, prospective studies are required to determine the differences between the two groups in terms of the development and prevalence of hypertension. Finally, doing regular aerobic exercises can help balance blood pressure level or delay the start of hypertension.