Menopause and Heart Disease Risk

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Did you know that the hormonal changes associated with perimenopause and menopause can affect your heart health?

At a recent visit with my gynecologist, I learned a great deal about how heart health is adversely affected by declining estrogen during the menopause transition. There are many myths and misunderstandings about the role of estrogen therapy as it relates to heart health after menopause.

Midlife women, as well as their healthcare providers, are still confused about the results of the Women’s Health Initiative, a study from the 1990s that concluded that hormone therapy is inherently dangerous. It’s important to know the facts.

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Flashing High Cholesterol

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Flash is an exciting word. A positive event. According to dictionary.com, a flash is:

  • a brief, sudden burst of bright light: a flash of lightning.
  • a sudden, brief outburst or display of joy, wit, etc.
  • But now ‘flash’ is also associated with high cholesterol.  (Hot flashes, that is.  And night sweats. And just like that — ‘in a flash’ I’d say, if I were a pun-ster —  flash falls flat.

    The SWAN study (I kid you not – it stands for the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation) of 3,201 women between the ages of 42 and 52 found that perimenopausal (the years leading up to menopause) and menopausal women with a high degree of hot flashes (6+/day),

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