A new study finds a link between the common hot flashes experienced by most women around the time of their menopause, and vascular health. The study suggests that hot flashes may indicate a higher risk of heart disease. As many as 70%of women experience hot flashes, and around a third of these women say that the hot flashes are frequent or severe. Recent research suggests that hot flashes actually occur earlier than previously believed. It is now thought that they may begin to occur during the late reproductive years and not necessarily in the perimenopausal period. Some studies have also shown that hot flashes can persist for over a decade.