Study Reveals Accelerated Decline in Women’s Heart Health Post-Menopause

by Ella

A recent study suggests a significant increase in cardiovascular risks, including heart attack and stroke, among women following menopause. Lead researcher, Dr. Ella Ishaaya, an internal medicine physician at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, highlights the study’s findings, indicating that post-menopausal women face a heightened risk comparable to that of men for cardiac events.


Presented at an American College of Cardiology conference, the research underscores the imperative to recognize and address early signs of cardiovascular issues in women. Despite being the leading cause of death for both genders in the United States, heart disease is often under-treated in women, emphasizing the importance of tailored interventions for this demographic.


Impact of Menopause on Heart Health:

The study delves into the physiological changes postmenopausal women experience, particularly the decrease in estrogen levels, a hormone crucial for regulating cholesterol and protecting heart health. To investigate further, researchers analyzed data from 579 postmenopausal women who were on statins to manage cholesterol levels.


Using coronary artery calcium (CAC) screenings, which measure plaque buildup in the heart’s arteries, researchers tracked participants’ heart attack risk over time. Results indicated a significant increase in CAC scores between screenings, particularly among women. Notably, these increases were double that of their male counterparts with similar risk profiles.


Protecting Heart Health:

Cardiologists emphasize the importance of proactive measures to safeguard heart health, starting before menopause. Lifestyle modifications, including maintaining a heart-healthy diet, regular exercise, smoking cessation, and stress management through techniques like yoga and meditation, are vital.

Regular monitoring of cholesterol, blood pressure, and overall heart disease risk, coupled with prompt medical consultation upon noticing symptoms such as chest discomfort, heartburn, chronic fatigue, or neck and jaw pain, is crucial. Dr. Petra Zubin Maslov from Mount Sinai Morningside stresses the need to seek medical attention rather than dismissing symptoms as age-related.


The study’s revelations regarding the accelerated decline in women’s heart health post-menopause underscore the urgency of tailored interventions and heightened awareness. By adopting proactive measures and seeking timely medical attention, women can mitigate risks and prioritize their cardiovascular well-being. As Dr. Reynolds highlights, it’s never too late to prioritize self-care and take proactive steps toward heart health.


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