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American Heart Month: Does Menopause Increase Heart Disease and Stroke Risk?

American Heart Month: Does Menopause Increase Heart Disease and Stroke Risk?

February is American Heart Month and an excellent time to highlight the importance of cardiovascular health and factors that can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. In today’s blog, we'll discuss menopause, how it's related to heart disease and whether it can increase your risks for heart disease and stroke. 

Does Menopause Increase Heart Disease and Stroke Risk? 

During menopause, levels of estrogen, a hormone that helps to protect against heart disease, decrease. This decrease in estrogen can lead to an increase in risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Estrogen helps relax and widen blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure. It also helps to increase good cholesterol (HDL) and decrease bad cholesterol (LDL). After menopause, these protective effects of estrogen are reduced, which can increase the risk of heart disease. 

However, it's important to note that menopause is not the only factor that can increase the risk of heart disease. There are many other risk factors that can contribute to heart diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. By addressing these risk factors and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, women can help reduce their risk of heart disease, even after menopause. 

What Are Ways to Decrease Risks? 

It’s important to keep tabs on your cardiovascular health and regularly check in with your doctor. They will also be able to best advise you on ways to stay healthy and how to decrease your risks. There are some general things you can do to be healthier which include: 

  1. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle: This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking. 
  2. Controlling blood pressure: High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Taking medications as prescribed and making lifestyle changes, such as eating a low-sodium diet and getting regular exercise, can help to control blood pressure. 
  3. Managing cholesterol: High levels of bad cholesterol and low levels of good cholesterol can increase your risks. Managing your cholesterol can be done in the same way as controlling your blood pressure—by eating a sufficient, healthy diet, getting that exercise in and ensuring that you’re taking medications as prescribed. 
  4. Managing diabetes: If you have diabetes, it's important to manage your blood sugar levels and take medications as prescribed. 
  5. Maintaining a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Losing weight through diet and exercise can help reduce this risk. 
  6. Limiting alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. It’s recommended to limit alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. 
  7. Getting regular check-ups: It's important to get regular check-ups to monitor your heart health and identify any potential problems early on. 

We hope that these tips can help inspire you to make some positive changes to your lifestyle if needed. The team at Merrick Surgical wants you to live the healthiest and best life you can. Our catalog is full of high-quality, reliable home medical equipment and supplies that can help you maintain your independence and complete day-to-day activities with greater ease. Browse our catalog today to get an idea of what we carry or stop in our store for personalized help! 

Take the Next Step:

Call Us: 516-378-0119 
Visit Us: 139 Merrick Ave., Merrick, NY 11566 


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