The overall goal of this study was to determine the role of ethnicity on features of hot flashes (HFs) in a population of menopausal women in North Central Texas. A total of 397 ethnically diverse menopausal women from North Central Texas were administered our Menopausal Vasomotor Symptoms (MVS) survey to ascertain accurate information about number, length, intensity and behaviorally disruptive effects of hot flash episodes for subsequent analysis for the role of ethnicity in the occurrence of hot flashes. The mean (SD) age for participants was 50.2 (5.3) years; 40% were Caucasian, 38% were African-American and 22% were Hispanic. To evaluate and identify potential associations of hot flash (HF) features, ethnicity, and other independent variables, ordinal/multinomial/binary logistic regression models were used to calculate crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The analysis demonstrates strong associations with ethnicity and the number of HF's/day, the length of each HF episode, the intensity of HFs, and the interruption of daily activities and sleep. Ethnicity was important in the crude and adjusted model describing the association between the number of HFs per day and ethnicity. African-American women were 2.22 (95% CI, 1.38-3.56) times and Hispanic women were 1.85 (95% CI, 1.08-3.18) times more likely to experience more frequent HFs per day than Caucasian women. In contrast, Hispanic women were less likely than Caucasian women to experience sweating and disruption of both daily activities and sleep. Collectively, our results show more frequent and more bothersome HFs in African-American women and more frequent, but less intense and bothersome HFs in Hispanic women in comparison to Caucasian women. © 2009 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.