Samar R El Khoudary, PhD, MPH, BPharm, FAHA, is Vice Chairman and Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the Epidemiology and Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Khoudary’s research focuses on cardiovascular disease in middle-aged women.
The transition to menopause has been linked to adverse changes that are critical to heart health. These include body fat distribution, lipids and lipoproteins, and measures for vascular health. Surprisingly, guidelines for cardiovascular disease management do not recommend hormone therapy, but rather focus primarily on healthy lifestyle.
Khoudary presented additional heart health statistics that she and her team found during the research.
“Our heart is not just a place where we store feelings and emotions. Our heart works without stopping, ”Khoudary began. “When we are between 39 and 50 years old” [year] Age group, obesity enters your life, blood pressure, glucose, cholesterol. These risk factors increase with age. ”1
The American Heart Association defined 7 risk factors people can improve through lifestyle changes to achieve ideal cardiovascular health, which Khoudary noted and referred to during their session. The factors to be monitored were glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), physical activity, diet and any smoking behavior. 2
According to Khoudary, a healthy lifestyle can prevent most heart disease in women. Measurements of a healthy lifestyle include physical activity, quitting smoking, weight control, and eating a healthy diet (e.g., high in fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish, low in saturated fats, and trans fats). According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007 to 2008 and 2011 to 2012, only 21% of women aged 20 years or older have 5 or fewer readings of healthy lifestyle at ideal levels (n = 84, 129, 14 years of follow-up ). ) .3
“The metabolic syndrome is a constellation of cardiovascular risk factors,” said Khoudary, “and women are at increased risk in these constellations.”
Research has shown that women also accumulate visceral fat in their belly, she said. “In midlife women have more fat around their heart and blood vessels. This fat has a more dramatic impact than the visceral because of its narrow anatomical location, ”she said.
The same goes for lipids. “In a nationwide study of women’s health, researchers found a significant increase in bad cholesterol within one year of menopause, and in follow-up work we showed that this increase is not benign. It’s actually raised carotid plaque, ”Khoudary said.
“The particles themselves are no longer like they used to be. During menopause, women are at greater risk of vascular vulnerability, [with a] Change in the different arrangement of ships. The lumen gets wider, the wall thicker and the stiffness increases, ”she said.
Favorable cardiovascular health at a young age extended survival by 4.5 to 7 years, according to a 40-year follow-up from the Chicago Heart Association study
“We have the data. We know the tools, ”she said. “But what is shocking here is that if you look at the American Heart Association data, only 21% of women aged 20 or over have at least 5 of these together.”
The Chicago Heart Association project analyzed 25,000 participants aged 18 to 74 years and followed them for 14 years. “Research has shown us that favorable cardiovascular health at a younger age extends survival by almost 4 years,” Khoudary said.4
“Heart health is important as a practitioner,” said Khoudary. “Our heart is precious. It lets us enjoy this beautiful life and we shouldn’t take it [it] Of course.”
- El Khoudary, SR 2021 September 21. Health is where the heart is. Annual Meeting of the North American Menopause Society, Washington, DC
- My life check | Life is simple 7. www.heart.org. Published 2018. Retrieved September 21, 2021. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/my-life-check–lifes-simple-7
- NHANES – Homepage of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Published 2021. Accessed September 21, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/index.htm
- Allen NB, Zhao L, Liu L, et al. Favorable cardiovascular health, compression of morbidity and health care costs. Traffic. 2017; 135 (18): 1693-1701. doi: 10.1161 / circulationaha.116.026252