Menopause Transition Affects Heart Disease Progression

It’s a well known fact that when women go through menopause their risk for heart disease increases.  The loss of estrogen postmenopause increases a woman’s risk for high blood pressure, increases LDL (“Lousy” or bad) cholesterol levels, decreases HDL (“Healthy” or good) cholesterol levels, and increases the risk for weight gain (especially around the abdominal area).  This clustering of heart disease risk factors makes the incidence of heart attacks more common in post menopausal women.

A new study called the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study (LAAS) headed by Dr. C. Noel Baiery Merz suggests that if women transition through menopause quickly (within three years go from premenopausal to postmenopausal) their risk for developing premature heart disease is even greater.  This was a small observational study but these results further support the need for a comprehensive heart disease risk factor evaluation in younger premenopausal women.  We know that 80% of heart attacks are preventable by optimizing risk factors.  In order to prevent the development of heart disease women need to learn their individual risk factors and try to optimize their numbers when they are young – before they start to experience menopausal symptoms.


7 Responses to Menopause Transition Affects Heart Disease Progression

  1. sam sall says:

    thank you for carying a whole blog for a great cause …we need to spread the being a women not very protective against cardiovascular disease. And despite an overall reduction in the death rate due to cardiovascular disease (CVD),
    the rate of decline is less for women than men . actually due to an aging population, the absolute number of deaths due to CVD in women is actually increasing .
    this is very disturbing and alarming .
    There is a need for an increased awareness of the importance of CVD as a major public health issue for women.
    let’s all join fihgt CVD
    THANK YOU and good luck in your cause ,God bless you

  2. Candlemamma says:

    Wonderful blog and very interesting reading. Information for all types of women. Thanks and best wishes.

  3. richglor says:

    Are u a heart surgeon, you seems to have a lot of info about this apect of human anatomy?

  4. heartstrong says:

    I am a nurse practitioner specializing in heart disease prevention – trying to keep people away from the heart surgeons. Please come back and visit again – just started this blog but hope to continue posting interesting info. Please also feel free to check out our website has more heart healthy info. We have a brand new book coming out next month Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a healthier heart and we are currently working on a men’s heart health book. We want to help people live a longer and healthier life. Thanks for the comment….

  5. heartstrong says:

    Thanks for stopping by – this is a brand new blog we hope to continue posting new info. So please check back with us. Also please check out our website for more heart healthy info We are also on twitter at
    Thanks for the comment…

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Two observations — why have I never heard it as “Lousy” cholesterol? What an easy way to remember the difference! Also, in regards to this study, I wonder if it is the rapidity at which estrogen is lost during a shortened peri-meno state that leads to the heart problems? Hopefully, there will be follow-ups to this, but I think it — once again — points to a real need to focus on hormonal health as part of healthy aging for women. For others interested in this topic, here is a link to an excellent series of article I read about menopause and heart health from the women to women dot com site —

  7. Nancy says:

    there’s a definite need to increase attention on studying these hormonal changes – disease risk connections! For so many years all the research was on men, and it will be many years before we catch up, and the knowledge gained will be relevant to both men and women. Thanks for creating a site collecting the many resources/news/current info in one place!

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