Heart Attack In Women: Research has shown an association between menopause with cardiovascular disease. Hormonal changes take place during menopause, the ovaries gradually stop producing estrogen.
Dr Rockey Katheria, consultant- Interventional cardiology, at Manipal Hospital, shares more about women’s heart health in an exclusive conversation with Zee English and how hormonal changes can affect your heart.
While it is true that the decline in estrogen levels during menopause can have implications for cardiovascular health in women, it’s important to note that the relationship between estrogen and heart disease is complex, and there are several factors at play.
Estrogen has been shown to have some beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system, such as promoting healthy blood vessel function and reducing inflammation. It is believed that estrogen helps to maintain the flexibility and integrity of blood vessels, which can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease.
This increases the risk of the coronary arteries narrowing whereas it previously protects the lining of the artery walls reducing the build-up of plaque. This increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease or stroke
Evidence has shown that menopausal transition is associated with a higher prevalence of CVD risk factors, such as central adiposity, atherogenic dyslipidemia, glucose intolerance, arterial hypertension and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), compared with premenopausal status.
Does estrogen replacement help in reducing cardiac risk?
While hormone replacement therapy can help some women manage their menopausal symptoms, there’s no evidence that it helps lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. However, it increases the risks, such as blood clots and stroke.
How to Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease in the postmenopausal phase?
A healthy lifestyle and Incorporating the following tips into your everyday life may help you reduce your risk. Other factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices (including diet, exercise, smoking, etc.), pre-existing medical conditions (like hypertension or diabetes), and overall health status can also influence the risk of heart disease in women.
Avoid or quit smoking
Smokers have twice (or higher) the risk of heart attack than non-smokers. Also, stay away from second hand smoking.
Maintain a healthy body weight
The more you are over your ideal weight, the harder your heart has to work to give your body nutrients.
150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic exercise or a combination of both is recommended. Check with your doctor if you have been inactive before increasing your activity level.
Follow a diet low in saturated fat; low in trans fat; and high in fibre, whole grains, legumes (such as beans and peas), fruits, vegetables, fish, and folate-rich foods.
Get screened and treat medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
Therefore, It is always recommended to consult with healthcare professionals or experts in the field to obtain accurate and personalized information regarding your specific health concerns. They can provide you with the most up-to-date and evidence-based insights regarding menopause, estrogen levels, and heart health.