Here’s a new way to look at hot flashes. How much do they cost our society in terms of additional health care and lost productivity?

Since the Women’s Health Initiative report came out in 2002, far fewer midlife women are using hormone replacement therapy. According to a recent report about 9 million women in the U.S. currently suffer from severe hot flashes.

This article was reviewed by Medscape:

Women with hot flashes used more healthcare services, particularly outpatient services, than women without symptoms, the researchers found. The extra services added up to $1,336 more per person per year compared to women without symptoms, and the indirect economic loss due to missed work was an extra $770 per woman per year.

For the full population of U.S. women with untreated hot flashes, the loss could run into billions of dollars.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD

Incremental direct and indirect costs of untreated vasomotor symptoms. Menopause, online August 25, 2014.