Menopause and Heart Health Infographic
Menopause and Heart Health
Heart disease risk rises for everyone as they age, but for women, the years leading up to and after menopause are a critical time to care for their health.
Menopause is a natural phase of life for most women in their 40s or 50s.
It’s often just called menopause, but menopause actually has three stages:
- Includes the most symptomatic years
- Key time for a woman to reduce CVD risk factors and care for her heart health
- When a woman’s period stops permanently
- 12 months in a row without menstruation
- Many women will spend up to 40% of their lives postmenopausal or “after menopause”
Cardiovascular Risk Factors
Menopause does not cause cardiovascular disease; however, during the menopausal transition women experience many changes in their bodies, including some that can impact their cardiovascular health:
- Decline in estrogen levels
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Sleep problems
- Increased body fat around the organs
- Increased cholesterol levels
- Stiffening or weakening of the blood vessels
- Increased risk of metabolic syndrome – 3 or more of:
- High blood glucose (sugar)
- Low levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in the blood
- High levels of triglycerides in the blood
- Large waist circumference
- High blood pressure
The early natural menopause (prior to 45 years of age) and the surgical removal of the ovaries can also increase a woman’s risk for cardiovascular disease.
Take Menopause to Heart
Women are at a greater risk for heart disease and stroke after menopause, making it even more important to focus on your health before menopause, and throughout the menopausal transition.
- Get plenty of exercise/physical activity
- Eat healthy
- Quit smoking
- Manage your stress
- Know your numbers
- Blood pressure
- Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Blood glucose (blood sugar
Talk to your health care team about your risk factors and how to prevent cardiovascular disease during middle age.
To learn more, visit goredforwomen.org/menopause
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