Menopause is a natural event in a woman’s body and there is a disagreement on whether heart issues are linked to menopause. Some studies have shown women are at higher risk of heart disease after menopause. In this article, we’ll take a look at the possible connection between menopause and heart health.
Menopause and Heart Health: Role of Estrogen
The drop in estrogen hormone levels during menopause can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. The hormone has a beneficial effect on the health of the inner layer of the artery wall, leading to the higher flexibility of the vessels. In other words, the vessels can optimally expand and relax, allowing blood to flow more efficiently.
Apart from this direct effect, other factors such as smoking, stress, high LDL levels (bad cholesterol), low HDL levels (good cholesterol), high blood pressure, lack of exercise, and obesity can increase heart disease risks during menopause.
Effects of Menopause on Other Risk Factors
The onset of menopause affects other risk factors that can lead to a significantly increased possibility of heart disease. This natural transition of the body reduces glucose tolerance and increases blood pressure. Menopause can lead to endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation. In addition, it can lead to changes in body fat distribution patterns and abnormal plasma lipids.
If you have headaches, swelling in your hands and feet, shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations, you need to see a doctor immediately. In the meantime, there are things you can do to reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. Maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding stress, exercising regularly, etc., are all considered highly beneficial for menopause as well as heart issues.
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