More than 1 in 3 women have some form of cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in North America (Wellons et al., 2012).
863 post-menopausal women with no history of heart attack or stroke underwent carotid ultrasound scans at follow-up year 12 or 13 to measure presence and size of carotid plaques.
LIMITS OF THIS STUDY
Changes in lesion size in relation to changes in lipids around the final menstrual period could not be made because only a single post-menopausal measurement was made.
WHAT WAS ALREADY KNOWN
- An increase in heart attacks and strokes among women is seen about 10 years after menopause (average age of menopause onset is age 54) (Appiah et al.,2016).
- The risk of heart disease and stroke is doubled for women who go into early menopause, regardless of ethnicity.
WHAT THIS STUDY ADDS
- The greater and faster the changes in lipid profile experienced by pre-menopausal women, the greater their risk of significant carotid plaque formation (size and number).
- Monitoring lipid profile earlier and more frequently during pre-menopause may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Diet and exercise intervention in midlife women led to significant beneficial improvements in risk factors, including lipid profile and LDL cholesterol.
- Early surveillance together with lifestyle changes may slow the progression of carotid plaques amongst pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women.
HEART HEALTH BEFORE AND AFTER MENOPAUSE
- Clinical studies have shown that CoQ10, Vitamin C and E, grape seed extract, green tea extract, hawthorn, and omega-3 fatty acids work to help maintain and support a healthy cardiovascular system.
- Together, these natural ingredients help to maintain a healthy lipid profile and may reduce the size of atherogenic
and carotid plaques.
Matthews, K.A., El Khoudary, S.R., Brooks, M.M., Derby, C.A., Harlow, S.D., Barinas-Mitchell, E.J.M. and Thurston, R.C. (2017) Lipid changes around the final menstrual period predict carotid subclinical disease in postmenopausal women. Stroke 48: 70-76.
Hot Topic Small Talk – Volume 2, Number 1