Heart Disease Risks in Pre-Menopausal Women Higher than Originally Believed
- Posted on: Oct 15 2017
Heart disease is a potentially serious condition that can affect men and women of all ages (even younger adults). However, research suggests that there are certain times in life when more heart-affecting risk factors exist. It used to be thought that the time after a woman stopped menstruating were some of her higher-risk years. Now, we are learning that risk may begin as a woman approaches menopause, not after.
One study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, reported that the risks for not only heart disease, but also diabetes and stroke, are more likely to rapidly increase during perimenopause. Furthermore, the study discovered an even higher risk among African-American women. These are important details to understand for women who want to guard their health as they approach this transitional time in life.
According to research findings, the markers for heart disease (metabolic syndrome) are typically present in pre-menopause. The indicators of metabolic syndrome include larger waist circumference, high LDL (bad cholesterol) coupled with low HDL (good cholesterol), high fasting blood sugar and high blood pressure.
Just under 1,500 Caucasian and African-American women participated in the national study that centered around the cause and effect cycle of hardening of the arteries. This 10-year study coincided with menopausal changes in these women’s lives, and included the observation and recording of metabolic syndrome scores. What the study revealed was:
- A rapid increase in the severity of metabolic syndrome in the last few years before menopause.
- Heightened increases in African-American women compared to their Caucasian counterparts.
- Greater general risk for metabolic syndrome among African-American women.
Metabolic Syndrome: How to Protect Your Health
Because there is a genetic factor to metabolic syndrome, there is one factor that is out of our control. However, the other two factors, diet and exercise, can go a long way in offsetting the other. Heart experts tend to agree that there are three dietary strategies that promote general wellness through the aging process. These are the Mediterranean diet, the D.A.S.H. diet, and a low glycemic diet. Each of these strategies independently offer significant health benefits. Implemented together, they are a virtual powerhouse for a healthy heart and body.
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In the New York offices of Premier Cardiology Consultants, our priority is to support healthy hearts through prevention, testing, and proven treatment options for various heart conditions. For more information about our services, call 516-437-5600.