Even if we don’t think about it this way, we are still just a bunch of animals. We are mammals, connected to the laws of nature as tightly as the next species. And so our lives are divided into biological periods, which for women include menopause. However, for some women it starts earlier than for others and scientists from The University of Queensland say that it could be a predictor of heart disease.
Menopause is the time in woman’s life when menstrual periods stop permanently and they essentially become infertile. It typically occurs between 49 and 52 years of age, but for every woman it can come at a different time. Now scientists conducted a research, which showed that those women who experience menopause before reaching the age of 50 face a greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
In particular, they have greater chances of suffering a non-fatal cardiac event like heart attack, angina or stroke. And it gets worse the earlier the menopause comes – women who go through it before hitting 40 are nearly twice more likely to have a non-fatal cardiovascular event before the age of 60.
The standard time for menopause is usually between 50 and 51 years of age. This is very specific, but women’s lives are divided into these rather precise periods. On the other hand, facing menopause early is not uncommon. Scientists analysed data from more than 300,000 women in 15 studies around the world and identified a clear link between early menopause and the risk of non-fatal cardiovascular events.
Dongshan Zhu, lead author of the study, said: “Identifying women with early menopause offers a window of opportunity for their doctors to work with them to monitor and actively manage cardiovascular disease risk factors. Early clinical diagnosis will help to improve overall cardiovascular health in their postmenopausal years”.
Scientists identified additional risk factors as well – smoking, being overweight or obese, having lower degree of education strengthen the link between early menopause and a woman’s risk of cardiovascular disease even more. This means that by reducing the negative impact on their own health women could alleviate some of the risks associated with early menopause. In short, they should exercise more, eat healthier and get rid of bad habits, such as smoking.
Everyone should know this. If you are a woman you will have to go through menopause and that is completely fine. Just know that if it happens early you have to be extra careful and take extra steps to take care of your cardiovascular health. And don’t forget – consultations with health professionals are always a good idea.
Source: The University of Queensland