Scorching flashes and night time sweats—they’re the hallmark signs of menopause.
However there’s one thing else occurring to ladies getting into their late 40s and early 50s that they can not see or really feel and will not even find out about: Their heart problems dangers are rising.
“As ladies transition by way of menopause, they expertise a variety of adjustments,” stated Samar El Khoudary, a professor of epidemiology on the College of Pittsburgh’s Faculty of Public Well being.
They produce much less estrogen. They accumulate extra stomach fats. Extra stomach fats is a part of a cluster of signs that turns into extra frequent after menopause. Referred to as metabolic syndrome, it’s when an individual has no less than three of the next: stomach weight problems; excessive triglycerides; low “good” HDL ldl cholesterol; hypertension or excessive blood sugar.
And, “their arteries develop into extra weak to illness, getting thicker and stiffer,” stated El Khoudary, who chaired the writing committee for a 2020 American Coronary heart Affiliation scientific assertion on how the menopause transition impacts heart problems danger. “All of these adjustments speed up throughout menopause.”
Coronary heart illness is the main reason for dying for girls within the U.S., who usually develop the situation a number of years later than males. However ladies are largely unaware of their danger for coronary heart illness, which is extra more likely to kill them than all types of most cancers mixed. In line with the latest AHA survey, consciousness that coronary heart illness is the main reason for dying amongst ladies truly fell between 2009 and 2019, notably amongst Black, Hispanic and youthful ladies, for whom main prevention could also be handiest.
The lower in consciousness got here as data about ladies’s cardiovascular dangers elevated, El Khoudary stated. “Over the past twenty years, we have realized lots about how menopause contributes to coronary heart well being,” she stated.
For instance, menopause-related scorching flashes and night time sweats have been linked to a better danger for hypertension and different cardiovascular danger elements. Analysis additionally exhibits despair in the course of the menopause transition is strongly linked to greater heart problems danger.
As well as, ladies who expertise pure menopause at a later age have a decrease danger of heart problems and dying. Elements which will affect an earlier begin to menopause embody worse cardiovascular well being throughout reproductive years, cigarette smoking and presumably genetics.
Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medication at Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital and a professor of drugs at Harvard Medical Faculty in Boston, stated ladies would profit from intensifying cardiovascular prevention efforts within the years main as much as menopause.
“That stage of life is a window of alternative for making life-style adjustments,” stated Manson, who additionally co-authored the 2020 AHA scientific assertion that referred to as on well being care professionals to contemplate an aggressive prevention-based strategy for girls in midlife to lower the prospect of heart problems sooner or later.
Analysis suggests the simplest methods to stop coronary heart illness embody not smoking, being bodily energetic, consuming a nutritious diet, sustaining a wholesome weight, getting sufficient sleep, and holding ldl cholesterol, blood strain and blood glucose ranges underneath management. However “very, only a few individuals are good at following all of these,” Manson stated.
Maybe probably the most bang for the buck comes from rising bodily exercise, she stated. “It’s the magic bullet for good well being as a result of it reduces the danger for coronary heart illness, stroke, hypertension, kind 2 diabetes and most cancers and improves bone well being, weight management, sleep and psychological well being. If there have been a capsule you would take that had all of these advantages, everybody could be clamoring for it.”
However not sufficient folks meet federal pointers for bodily exercise, that are no less than 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity cardio train, 75 minutes per week of vigorous cardio train or a mix of each.
Whereas it is by no means too late so as to add or enhance bodily exercise ranges, Manson stated, “the sooner you do it in life, the better the well being advantages. Additionally, sustaining good habits is simpler than reversing dangerous ones.”
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The connection between menopause and heart problems dangers (2023, February 20)
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