Menopause and Heart Health Infographic

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:

  1. Perimenopause
    • Includes the most symptomatic years
    • Key time for a woman to reduce CVD risk factors and care for her heart health
  2. Menopause
    • When a woman’s period stops permanently
    • 12 months in a row without menstruation
  3. Postmenopause
    • 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
  • Depression
  • 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)
    • Cholesterol
    • Blood glucose (blood sugar

Talk to your health care team about your risk factors and how to prevent cardiovascular disease during middle age.

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