Don't Wait: Your Heart Needs You Now

MAY 01, 2003

It is known that women?s risk of heart disease increases at the onset of menopause, and researchers now believe that the best defense may be to make lifestyle changes not during menopause but earlier, in the perimenopause period.

Researchers studied 1349 women participants between ages 42 and 52. "The idea was to look at where women are now, in terms of risk factors, and then try to predict where they will be when they reach age 55," Carol Derby, PhD, assistant professor of neurology and epidemiology and social medicine at Albert Ein-stein College of Medicine in New York City, said. At this age, women may need cholesterol-lowering therapy or lifestyle modifications to reduce their risk of heart disease based on the number of risk factors they have. Other factors include smoking, high blood pressure, and poor cholesterol levels.

Researchers evaluated these risk factors and concluded that almost 20% of these women would become eligible for some form of cholesterol-lowering therapy after 55.



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