The link between cardiovascular diseases and menopause
Dr. Sunil Dwivedi
Vasanth nagar, Bengaluru Apr 13, 2018
The risk of coronary heart diseases increases significantly during menopause. It is important to understand that menopause be itself does not cause cardiovascular diseases, but the changes brought about in the body during menopause increase the risk.
Decrease in estrogen levels:
Estrogen has a positive effect on the inner walls of arteries as they keep the arteries flexible and help in moderating blood pressure. During menopause, the levels of estrogen begin to fall drastically, which may cause increased blood pressure and higher rates of cardiovascular diseases.
Other risk inducing factors:
Many other lifestyle and health factors also increase the risk of heart diseases during menopause. These factors include:
- Having other diseases like diabetes.
- Excessive smoking or drinking.
- Unhealthy eating habits causing high levels of cholesterol.
- Family history of heart diseases.
- Inactive and sedentary lifestyle.
You can make a few changes your eating and lifestyle to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases during and after menopause:
- Maintain a healthy BMI: If you are not overweight, you will significantly reduce the risk of many heart diseases caused due to inflammation.
- Quit smoking: It is a proven fact that smokers are twice as likely to get a heart attack than non smokers. So it is high time that you kick the butt if you have been smoking.
- Exercise: It is not necessary to hit the gym or any such activity. Just a daily morning jog will do wonders for your heart.
- Eat healthy diet: Now this can be taken in a wrong way, as healthy diet for you at this age is very different than that of a person in 20s. Do not eat meat products (especially red meat), and try to consume high amount of fruits, vegetables and other light and healthy items.