Heart disease and stroke risk factors 'may increase prior to menopause'

9 August 2016

Key risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and stroke appear to increase rapidly in severity in the years leading up to menopause, according to new research.

The University of Virginia research analysed the records of 1,470 women participating in a national study of the causes and health effects of hardening of the arteries. Participants were selected based on whether they went through menopausal changes over a ten-year period.

It was shown that women experienced rapid increases in metabolic syndrome severity during the last years of premenopause and the transition years to menopause, a trend that was particularly strongly observed in African-American women.

Dr Mark DeBoer, senior study author and an association professor of paediatric endocrinology at the University of Virginia, said: "This latest study indicates that the increased risk observed earlier may be related more to the changes happening as women go through menopause and less to the changes that take place after menopause."

He added that the findings underline the importance of older women keeping themselves physically active in order to improve their cardiovascular health at an age when they might otherwise be vulnerable.

Posted by Philip Briggs

 


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