Girls Hearts

We know there are many differences between a woman's heart and a man's heart. In the April 2011 issue of Menopause we have found out that that there is a relationship between a hot flash and cardiac health. In fact if you have hot flashes you are more likely to have both high blood pressure and higher cholesterol. And now we have shown in the SWAN study that in menopause the aorta is more likely to show plaques that have calcified and thus the flow through major blood vessels is not as likely to be as healthy either. If you and your guy have the same cholesterol number today, your cholesterol will creep higher as you transition through menopause as estrogen protects your heart in large part by keeping those lipid levels low. And as this number changes, you may also show more blood inflammation and more likelihood of deepening the plaques. So as you get perimenopausal, and think about getting hormone checks, think about getting newer blood tests of heart health like the cardio c-reactive protein, and get the cholesterol numbers retested as well. Doing nothing different may mean your numbers will rise to unacceptable levels. You may need to speak with your gyno about what you should do to counteract these inevitable changes. But, then you have to take a look of your whole case in context, as it's not like there isn't confusing, and conflicting, information out there. Some studies report favorable relationship between hot flashes and heart health, as in the newest information from WHI. Bottom line, you know the answer, time to get with your gyno to gab, as we each have our own individual risk factors, and the key is to individualize your care!

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