Menopausal changes raise risk of heart disease

Menopausal changes raise risk of heart disease

Experts explain that understanding risk factors is an important first step, and reassure women that there are ways to lower the risk.

“Many women younger than 50 have not yet gone through menopause and still have high levels of the female hormone estrogen in their blood, which is thought to help protect the heart,” said Vera Rigolin, associate director of the Centre for Women’s Cardiovascular Health at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

“After menopause, however, the levels of estrogen in a woman’s body drop significantly and can contribute to the higher risks of cardiovascular disease,” explains Rigolin.
Weight gain is also a factor. Extra mass can take a toll on the body, causing physical inactivity, high BP, and high cholesterol, all risk factors that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Women, especially those who are menopausal, can reduce the risk of heart disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle, says Rigolin.

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