Menopause and heart disease in women -- 5 interesting facts to know

70% of the urban Indian population is at risk of heart disease. This is an alarming percentage and the factors responsible are sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits and stress. Peanuts are rich in monosaturated fats and oleic acid which makes it good for your heart. Eat a handful every day, to keep heart disease at bay! (Read: Take the natural route to heart health – home remedies that work! )

In women, more than 50% of the deaths at 50 years occur due to heart problems.

Most of us might have heard of heart disease, be it from friends, relatives or in families. While cardiovascular diseases are considered as a man s disease, globally it claims more lives in women than men. And what's more interesting is the fact that women after the onset of menopause are at a higher risk for heart disease. Dr Manjiri Mehta Consultant Gynecologist, Obstetrician, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Hiranandani Hospital Vashi- A Fortis Network Hospital shares few facts about menopause and heart disease in women.

#1. 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. This coupled with the fact that the body goes through hormonal havoc during menopause ups the risk of heart disease after a woman hits menopause.

#2. After menopause, there is a risk of the increase in cardiac disease as the protection offered by estrogen declines. At the age of 50 years, 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.

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#3. Generally, women who frequently smoke, are diabetic and hypertensive or have a family history of these along with bad cholesterol, are at a higher risk of having cardiac disease post-menopause. Here are few unusual risk factors for heart diseases in women.

#4. 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 for cardiac disease are stroke, thrombosis in veins and thinning of bones, amongst post-menopausal women.

#5. 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 a must to keep the risk of cardiovascular diseases at bay. Walking, cycling, dancing, swimming or yoga during the adult age go a long way in preserving cardiovascular health when a woman hits menopause. Here's more on ways menopause affects your heart health.

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