Does Menopause Put Me At Higher Or Lower Risk For Heart Disease?

Dr. Sharonne Hayes answers the question: 'Menopause And Risk For Heart Disease?'

BySharonne Hayes, M.d., Director, Women's Heart Clinic; Associate Professor Of Medicine; Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

— -- Question: Does menopause put me at higher or lower risk for heart disease?

Answer: Menopause is a time of a lot of changes. The average age of menopause is about 51 years in the United Sates.

And yes, there are some changes that are not good for your heart. As estrogen levels drop, then the good cholesterol goes down, the bad cholesterol goes up, and arteries are less elastic.

But it's not all menopause. Some of it is the stage in life. A lot of women become less physically active, gain some weight. So we can't blame menopause, but it's a really good time for you to take a reassessment of your heart health and make some changes if you need some improvement.

Next: I Am Nearing Menopause. Is There Any Role For Hormone Replacement Therapy In The Prevention Of Heart Disease?

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