Issue No. 20
Early Menopause’s New Health RiskDate: April 19, 2013
Much attention is given to the symptoms of menopause—hot flashes and hormone fluctuations among them. For women who experience menopause before age 46, which is considered early, there is a newly recognized threat. Early menopause is associated with double the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke compared with women who go through the transition later, according to a new study at Johns Hopkins.
“Women who experience early menopause should work with their primary care physician or cardiologist to reduce or eliminate other cardiac risk factors,” says Lili Barouch, M.D., a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins. “The best ways to minimize risk are to maintain a healthy weight, be active and avoid or quit smoking.”
Additionally, the researchers suggest these tips.
- Keep cholesterol levels and blood pressure low.
- Take medications as directed by your doctor.
- Manage your diabetes, if you have the disease.
If you’ve experienced early menopause, ask your doctor how it could affect your health and to help you evaluate your lifestyle and hereditary factors for ways to reduce your overall risk of stroke and heart disease.
24/7 Health Information from Johns Hopkins
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