New studies show that in the years before menopause, women have an increased risk of heart disease, stroke or diabetes.
Menopause frequently happens between ages 45 and 55 as the ovaries stop producing estrogen and women can go through symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes. When dealing with menopause symptoms, several man-made hormones can be administered, but they also increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Researchers studied the records of over 1470 white and African American women that participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study which examines the effects of hardening of the arteries.
After researching whether women who took part in the study followed a hormone-replacement therapy, they still found greater changes of cholesterol and glucose before menopause that afterward.
The risk factors that are together known as the metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, a large waistline, low “good” cholesterol level and high blood fat levels. Also, a history of smoking, inactivity and obesity seem to increase the probability of developing these problems.
The latest findings show that African-American women are at greater risk of developing heart disease or diabetes than white women. Overall, they were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome which leads to high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. These studies confirmed the previous findings that African-American women are more likely to suffer from diabetes and cardiovascular disease than white women.
Doctors hope that one day an electronic medical record will exist that will gather information regarding the risk of metabolic syndrome that would be accessible to patients throughout their lifetime.
Agreeing that the years that transition menopause can be a period of learning how to treat your body, specialists take advantage of the fact that patients are highly receptive. They teach the women how to practice healthy habits that can make the difference in their cardiovascular risk.
Doctors recommend that before going through menopause, women should be sure that their health is under control by having a healthy diet, having their weight under control and doing enough exercise.
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