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Q: I've been having hot flashes for a decade now. Is something wrong with me?

A: Not at all. I was part of a team of researches who conducted a study on hot flashes that revealed a high degree of variability. It's estimated that at least 20 percent of women go through menopause without ever having hot flashes, but our study found that close to 40 percent had them for at least 14 years. We can't definitively predict who will be in which group, but we did find that women who began having hot flashes while still having periods ended up having them longer than women who didn't get them until after menopause. Unfortunately, we don't know enough about what causes hot flashes to understand why that happens. But if it's any comfort, you are definitely not alone. — Nancy E. Avis, PhD, professor of social sciences and health policy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center