Navigation Links
Study: No link betweem menopause and increased risk of fatal heart
Date:9/6/2011

Johns Hopkins researchers say data show aging alone, not hormonal impact of menopause, explains increasing number of deaths as women age

Contradicting the long-held medical belief that the risk of cardiovascular death for women spikes sharply after menopause, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests instead that heart disease mortality rates in women progress at a constant rate as they age.

The findings, published in BMJ, the British medical journal, could have implications for how heart health is assessed in pre-menopausal women, who were previously believed to be at negligible risk of death from heart attack.

"Our data show there is no big shift toward higher fatal heart attack rates after menopause," says Dhananjay Vaidya, Ph.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the study's leader. "What we believe is going on is that the cells of the heart and arteries are aging like every other tissue in the body, and that is why we see more and more heart attacks every year as women age. Aging itself is an adequate explanation and the arrival of menopause with its altered hormonal impact does not seem to play a role."

Menopause clearly plays a role in other diseases for women, the researchers found. For example, Vaidya says, the rate of breast cancer mortality decelerates at menopause, probably because of hormonal changes.

To reach its conclusions, Vaidya's team analyzed mortality statistics for people born in England, Wales and the United States between 1916 and 1945. They followed similar groups of people as they aged and found that, at the time of menopause in each cohort, there were no increases in female mortality rates above and beyond the steady curve that is expected from aging, he says. Vaidya says his team also found that the number of women who die each year from heart disease increases exponentially at roughly 8 percent per year. The statistical death rate curve stays steady throughout life, he says, increasing risk annually in the same way compound interest increases a bank account balance over time. Absolute mortality the actual number of deaths increases at all ages with no abrupt change at menopause.

Also surprising, Vaidya says, is what he and his team learned about men. It has long been known that men are at risk of heart disease mortality from a much earlier age than women. Vaidya says he found that the mortality curve for men under the age of 45 actually increases by 30 percent a year, only to slow after that age to roughly 5 percent a year similar to the rate throughout the lifetime in women.

The data suggest that something biological may be happening to younger men that is harming their hearts. "Instead of looking at menopause, what we should be looking at is what is happening biologically to men over time," Vaidya says. "We don't have an answer. Good research always creates more questions."

Rapid progress in the understanding the effects of aging on cells most notably the concept of shrinking telomere length could account for some of the gender differences, Vaidya suggests. Telomeres are found at the end of each chromosome in the body and act as shields that protect important genes from assault. Telomeres shrink every time they are copied, which occurs every time cells divide. As telomeres get shorter, there is the chance that the genes at the end of the chromosome will get damaged, and if they are, they will not recover, leading to the damaging effects of aging.

Such may be the case in heart disease mortality. Previous studies have shown that telomere lengths are similar in male and female babies, but become significantly shorter in young adult men as compared to young adult women, which could account for the finding that men have increased risk of cardiovascular mortality at younger ages. At later ages, telomeres shorten at similar rates in men and women, which could account for their similar heart disease mortality rate increases during older ages.

The researchers also found good news: Each successive birth cohort had lower total and heart disease mortality over their lifetime, owing to better nutrition, lifestyle, preventive care, drugs and other heart disease treatments.

Meanwhile, Vaidya says, physicians need to assess cardiovascular health in women from an early age, institute healthy heart habits and preventive care. "Special attention should be paid to heart health in women due to their overall lifetime risk," he says, "not just after the time of menopause."


'/>"/>
Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study: 85 percent of homeless people have chronic health conditions
2. Study: Afghan patients a common source of drug-resistant bacteria
3. Study: Community organization can reduce, negate impact of alcohol outlets on neighborhood violence
4. Study: Graphic warning labels reduce demand for cigarettes
5. Study: Inexpensive method detects ALK rearrangement in lung cancer patients
6. INFORMS study: OR models of hepatitis B prove decisive in treating millions in US, China
7. Study: Doctors differ in how best to care for Americas 12 million cancer survivors
8. Drexel study: Misuse of pain medication is pathway to high-risk behaviors
9. Study: Subsidizing wages at long-term care facilities would cut turnover
10. Study: Inherited Alzheimers Detectable 20 Years Before Symptom Onset
11. Study: Potassium Boosts Heart Health, Salt Harms It
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Stephanie Hebert Insurance ... beginning of a new charity campaign. As part of their ongoing community involvement ... In the belief that children deserve a voice, and in the spirit of ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Tingley ... into Canada to provide its range of unique and advantaged protective solutions ... City that will provide bilingual customer service and marketing support. A new distribution ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... announced today that nominations will be accepted February 8, 2016 through May ... , Awards include the Information Security Executive® of the Year, which recognizes ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... lower incidence rate of type 2 diabetes in the GrassrootsHealth cohort with substantially ... to make a change in public health,” states Carole Baggerly, Director of GrassrootsHealth, ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... The schedule is now online ... AutismOne 2016 Conference, which is being held May 25-29 at the Loews Chicago O’Hare ... helpful interventions and causes of chronic illness in children. , Very recent articles have ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016  The Parenteral Drug Association, Inc. (PDA), ... manufacturing sterile drug products, today announced the publication ... – With link to Comparison Spreadsheet. The ... U.S. FDA, the EU, the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention/Scheme ... --> --> PDA,s Global Sterile ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Feb.8, 2016 Cardiovascular Surgery Devices - ... GlobalData,s Medical Devices sector report, "Cardiovascular Surgery Devices ... overview of Cardiovascular Surgery Devices currently in pipeline ... The report provides comprehensive information on the ... at various stages of development. The report reviews ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... FAIRFIELD, N.J. , Feb. 8, 2016  Otsuka ... today announced that they have entered into a licensing ... OPA-15406 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico ... is a topical, non-steroidal phosphodiesterase IV (PDE-4) inhibitor, a ... --> --> In a Phase II ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: