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What is the connection between Menopause and heart health?

What is the connection between Menopause and heart health?

Heart disease is the most common cause of death among women throughout the world, affecting 1 in 3 women.  

Menopause does not cause heart disease but there are risk factors that occur around this same time that increase your risk.  They include a high fat diet, smoking, obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure that catch up with you in your 50’s. It’s around this time in a woman’s life that you need to pay attention to your risk factors for heart disease.  Estrogen has a positive effect on your heart prior to menopause. The American Heart Association does not recommend taking HRT to prevent heart disease. 

Prior to going into menopause, the hormone estrogen has a positive and healthy effect on blood vessels and blood flow. Once you enter menopause, estrogen levels plummet and you experience hormonal and physical chaos happening at the same time.  The decrease in estrogen levels during menopause may increase risk of heart disease but does not cause cardiovascular disease. Hormone replacement therapy is not recommended to treat or prevent heart disease but can be used to treat other disruptive symptoms of menopause including hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and mood changes.



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