A new study published within the European Heart Journal, has revealed that early menopause increases the risk of heart problems. The earlier women go through the menopause, the more at risk they were found to be of developing atrial fibrillation and new on-set heart failure.
So, why does going through the menopause early increase the risk of heart problems and is there a way to reduce the risk?
What did the study find?
Almost 1.5 million postmenopausal women aged 30 years and above were included in the study. They had each completed the 2009 NHIS health check-up and were followed until 2018 to check for atrial fibrillation and new on-set heart failure. The age participants went through the menopause was an average of 40 years old.
Around 28,111 patients had a history of premature menopause and they themselves went through it at 36.7 years of age on average. It was revealed that 42,699 patients developed heart failure, while 44,834 patients developed atrial fibrillation. This resulted in an overall 33% increased risk of heart failure, and a 9% increased risk of atrial fibrillation due to early menopause.
Why does premature menopause increase the risk of heart problems?
Although the exact cause of heart issues linked to premature menopause isn’t known, there are a lot of factors thought to contribute.
Hormone Replacement Therapy medication, family history, and hormones are all thought to play a role. For example, the hormone oestrogen is known to provide protection for the heart. When you go through the menopause, these oestrogen levels drop, reducing the natural protection women have.
It is also thought to link to fat distribution. During the menopause, the way fat is distributed around the body changes. Visceral fat depot increases to around 15% to 20%, up from 5% to 8% before the menopause. This can put extra pressure on the heart, leading to issues such as heart failure.
These are just a couple of reasons why going through the menopause early can lead to heart issues.
Keeping an eye on your heart health
If you are going through early menopause, it’s natural to be concerned about your heart health. In order to catch any problems early on, you will want to monitor your heart health regularly. Visiting a specialist to receive a check-up to identify any problems early is a good idea. That way, if heart failure does develop, it can be treated as quickly as possible.
If you are worried about your heart health after going through early menopause, book a consultation with Dr. Konrad Grosser today. After an initial assessment, he will be able to help identify any problems and recommend the best course of treatment. Call 0333 444 1844 to book now.