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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A first of its kind study finds genes may play a role in whether some women will experience an uncomfortable symptom of menopause.

Like many women, Betty Glick has experienced hot flashes from menopause.

“The immediate thing is just feeling flushed with heat,” Glick said. “And for me, it’s normally from the neck up. I immediately start to sweat.”

New research suggests genetics may determine which women suffer with the common menopause symptom.

Researchers at UCLA looked at data from nearly 18,000 postmenopausal women and found women who had gene variants that affect a part of the brain that regulates estrogen were more likely to have hot flashes.

“The first study ever done to look across the whole genome for hot flashes and night sweats,” said Dr. Carolyn Crandall of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

It’s estimated that more than 70 percent of women experience hot flashes and night sweats.

Researchers say the findings could lead to new treatments to relieve menopause symptoms.

“It will lead us to figuring out the biological mechanism for hot flashes,” Dr. Crandall said. “If we know the mechanism is, then maybe we can create some therapies.”

Glick was on hormone replacement therapy for a few years but stopped the treatment. She still suffers through flashes.

“It’s like so many things, you just learn how to cope, you know,” she said.

She says there is one thing that makes her feel better: her fan.

She make sure she has it handy when she feels a flash coming on.

Researchers found the gene variants were present across all ethnicities.


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