Navigation Links
Menopause Often Means Worsening Cholesterol

Studies also report on statin dosages and lifestyle factors that affect the heart,,

FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Blood levels of LDL cholesterol, the bad kind that blocks arteries, go up sharply in women at the time of menopause, but there are no other dramatic changes in risk factors for heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, a new study has found.

"This suggests that as women approach menopause, they need to have their lipid profiles checked," said Karen A. Matthews, a professor of psychiatry, epidemiology and psychology at the University of Pittsburgh and the study's lead author. A report on the findings is published in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which is focused on prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Two other studies reported in the same issue showed that higher doses of statins, drugs that lower LDL cholesterol levels, are more effective over the long run than lower doses in preventing heart attacks, other cardiovascular problems and premature death.

The menopause report is the latest from a study that has followed more than 3,000 American women since 1996, "trying to understand the changes women experience during life," Matthews said. One major change is menopause, when menstruation stops as production of estrogen is reduced.

It has been known that women's risk for cardiovascular problems increases after menopause. "Our study has been checking many different things in relation to menopause and cardiovascular risk," Matthews said. "The primary result is an increase in total cholesterol, due to an increase in LDL cholesterol as well as in apolipoprotein B, the protein carrier for LDL cholesterol."

Those changes occur regardless of ethnic background and "appear to be a fairly uniform response to menopause," she said.

"Other risk factors we measured didn't show a dramatic change," Matthews said. "I expected to see some change in inflammatory factors because some data suggest that hormone users have higher cholesterol levels, but it did not occur."

The lesson she draws from the finding is that women should pay more attention to lifestyle factors associated with cardiovascular risk as menopause approaches and occurs. "They should lose weight and keep it off and increase their physical activity," Matthews said. "Smokers should stop smoking."

The study will continue to chart the changes that occur after menopause, she said, looking at such problems as "what happens if you have a lot of hot flashes."

The two statin studies, sponsored by Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb, which market versions of the cholesterol-lowering drugs, looked at the effects of different dosages, comparing 80 milligrams a day with 40 milligrams daily in nearly 14,000 patients who had experienced one heart attack or other cardiovascular event.

It's been customary to give a higher statin dose after such an event, and the question has been whether to switch back to the lower dose after a while, said Dr. Christopher P. Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a member of the team that performed one of the studies.

"The short answer is that the use of strong statins is helpful in preventing not just a first heart attack or death but could prevent more problems than just one," Cannon said.

That answer emerged because the researchers changed the way they had been counting. In previous studies, they stopped assessing the effect of higher-dose statin use after a single second event. In the two new studies, they kept monitoring the effects after a second event.

"The benefits are even bigger than we thought," Cannon said. "Fifty percent more events were prevented than we have been counting to date because we were just counting the first event."

Other studies in the same issue of the journal reported that:

  • People who stopped smoking after a first heart attack had half the risk of dying prematurely than did those who continued to smoke.
  • High blood pressure and atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, develop before puberty in obese children, and increased physical activity decreases them.
  • Modest weight loss in obese adults, an average of 22 pounds, improves heart muscle and blood vessel structure and function.

More information

The American Heart Association has more on good and bad cholesterol.

SOURCES: Karen A. Matthews, Ph.D., professor, psychiatry, epidemiology and psychology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh; Christopher P. Cannon, M.D., cardiologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston; Dec. 15/22, 2009, Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Anti-Aging Institute of California Offers New Natural Solution for Menopause Symptoms
2. On World Menopause Day, October 18, The International Menopause Society and World Health Organization Urge Women to Learn About Their Options for Dealing With Menopause
3. Locate a Male Menopause Physician with reNEW MAN
4. Teva Womens Health Announces Relaunch Just in Time for Menopause Awareness Month
5. Upsher-Smith Launches New Website for Divigel(R), a Bioidentical and FDA-Approved Hormone Therapy for Moderate to Severe Hot Flashes, Including Night Sweats, Associated with Menopause
6. Michael Jackson Could Have Been Going Through Male Menopause, says SimplyAgeless411
7. SimplyAgeless Believes Michael Jackson Could Have Been Going Through Male Menopause
8. Menopause Is More Than A Hot Flash
9. New Data: Efficacy and Responder Analyses of Divigel(R) (estradiol gel) 0.1 percent for the Treatment of Menopause
10. Memory Takes a Hit During Menopause
11. What You Need to Know in Your 40s to Have a Healthy Menopause -- Without Hormone Replacement Therapy
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... The moment you stop improving is the ... the needs of advisers and clients but going above and beyond to find ... service. However, there's always room for improvement, which is why the entire Consulting ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to announce that on ... accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored to join this ... colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. CBD College is ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Dr. Thomas Dunlap and Dr. Patrick Coleman ... with Emergency Medicine at St., Joseph Health System’s Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital , ... in similar ways and require time-critical intervention to avoid large area heart damage and ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... ... Indosoft Inc., developer and distributor of the world-class Asterisk ... Term Support) into its Q-Suite 5.10 product line. , Making the change to ... of Asterisk that will receive not only security fixes, but feature and bug ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think Thanksgiving, they also think Holiday sales ... Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair sales to receive the best ... low to find the best massage chair deals, they can see all of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 AAIPharma Services Corp./Cambridge Major Laboratories, ... least $15.8  Million to expand its laboratories and ... . The expansion will provide additional office space ... demands of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets. ... provide up to 40,000 square feet of expanded ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  ARKRAY USA ... continues to provide evidence demonstrating the accuracy of its ... Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in ... both the Company,s GLUCOCARD ® 01 meter and ... accuracy requirements. The ability to accurately measure glucose levels ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Kitov Pharma ... KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of ... conditions, today announced the closing of its previously announced ... ADSs ), each representing 20 ordinary shares of the ... The ADSs and warrants were issued in a fixed ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: