NEW DELHI: People have heard of cardiovascular diseases even if they haven't undergone a procedure personally.
While cardiovascular diseases are generally considered a man's issue, globally, they claim more lives of women than men.
In regards to women, symptoms become more evident after the onset of menopause.
Highlighting the risk factors causing the increase in risk of cardiovascular health in women, Dr Manjiri Mehta Consultant Gynecologist, Obstetrician, Laparoscopic surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi- A Fortis Network Hospital said, "Menopause does not cause cardiovascular disease per say; however certain risk factors at the time of menopause like a high-fat diet, early age smoking etc. certainly take a toll on one's cardiovascular health. The reason why menopause is the center of the discussion here is because during the time of menopause, the body goes through hormonal havoc."
• Estrogen levels play a role
A decline in the natural hormone-estrogen is a factor when it comes to decline in cardiovascular health in post-menopausal women. Estrogen has always been believed to play a pivotal role in the positive effect on the inner layer of the arterial walls. These hormones considerably reduce the risk of stroke in women. However, several studies about the various other factors causing the decline in cardiovascular health are still under different stages of research.
• Cardiovascular health history
Being an ardent follower of a healthy lifestyle and continuing the same during menopause, considerably reduces the risk of a heart disease or a stroke. A person with a history of cardiovascular diseases running in the family is at a heightened risk. Given the increased risk, a person should be vary of their cardiovascular health and take adequate precautions.
• After menopause, there is a risk of increase in cardiac disease as the protection offered by estrogen declines. At the age of 50, more than 50% of the deaths occur in women due to problems related to cardiac health. Further complications are basically worsening of cardiac function and dip in the quality of life.
• Generally, women who frequently smoke are diabetic and hypertensive or have a family history of these along with bad cholesterol. Thus, they are at a higher risk of having cardiac disease post-menopause.
• The falling levels of estrogen impact the bones too, apart from the heart. The bones might become thin and prone to fractures.
• The risk factors of cardiac disease are stroke, thrombosis in veins and thinning of bones, amongst post-menopausal women.
• As per recommendations, women in their late 40s and early 50s should be following a dietary pattern that is rich in:
Carbohydrates and proteins.
- A meal comprising of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, nuts are necessary for a healthy heart.
- Physical activity for at least an hour is must to keep the risk of cardiovascular diseases at bay. Walking, cycling, dancing, swimming are brilliant in preserving of cardiovascular health.