“Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also called heart and circulatory disease, is an umbrella name for conditions that affect your heart or circulation”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause and Cardiovascular Disease Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Cardiovascular Conditions
  • Cardiovascular Disease/s (CVD/CVDs)
  • Cardiovascular Disorders
  • Diseases/Disorders of the Heart and Blood Vessels
  • Diseases/Disorders of the Heart and Circulatory System
  • Heart Disease/s
  • Heart and Circulatory Disease
  • Stroke

Cardiovascular Disease

What is cardiovascular disease (CVD)?

DotS the definition of CVD may vary. In Cardiovascular Heart Disease the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) definition is:

“Cardiovascular disease (CVD), also called heart and circulatory disease, is an umbrella name for conditions that affect your heart or circulation. These include high blood pressure, stroke and vascular dementia”.2

Cardiovascular Diseases

What are cardiovascular diseases (CVDs)?

DotS the definition of CVDs may vary. In Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs): What Are Cardiovascular Diseases? the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition is:

“Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels and they include:

  • Coronary heart disease – a disease of the blood vessels supplying the heart muscle
  • Cerebrovascular disease – a disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain
  • Peripheral arterial disease – a disease of blood vessels supplying the arms and legs
  • Rheumatic heart disease – damage to the heart muscle and heart valves from rheumatic fever, caused by streptococcal bacteria
  • Congenital heart disease – birth defects that affect the normal development and functioning of the heart caused by malformations of the heart structure from birth; and
  • Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism – blood clots in the leg veins, which can dislodge and move to the heart and lungs”.3

Before Menopause


Before menopause do women have a lower risk of CVD than men?

The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) note:

“Before menopause, women have a lower risk of heart disease than men, but as women age and their oestrogen levels fall after menopause, their risk of cardiovascular disease increases”.4

After Menopause

After menopause can women have an increased risk of CVD?

In Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease the JH elaborate on:

“Blood pressure can increase after menopause, as can total cholesterol and LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’. There can also be a decrease in HDL, or ‘good cholesterol’. Other blood fats such as triglycerides can also increase”.5

The North American Menopause Society explain:

“Although many women think of heart disease as a man’s disease, the number one killer of women in North America is cardiovascular disease, that is, diseases of the heart and circulatory system. After age 55, more than half of all the deaths in women are caused by cardiovascular disease. Risk for this disease increases after menopause. Be sure to talk to your healthcare team about what your risks are and how you can reduce them”.6

Risk Factors

What are risk factors for CVD?

In Cardiovascular Heart Disease: What Increases My Risk of Cardiovascular Heart Disease? the BHF elaborate on:

“A risk factor is something that increases the chance of getting a condition. The more you have, the higher your chance of CVD. Even if you can’t change all your risk factors, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk.

There are several risk factors for CVD, including:

  • Smoking
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Blood Cholesterol
  • Being Physically Inactive
  • Being Overweight or Obese
  • Diabetes
  • Family History of Heart Disease
  • Ethnic Background
  • Sex – men are more likely to get CVD earlier than women
  • Age – the older you are, the more likely you are to get CVD”.7

Prevention

Is CVD preventable?

In 8 Things You Can Do To Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke the American Heart Association explain and elaborate on:

  1. “Know your risk…
  2. Eat a healthy diet…
  3. Be physically active…
  4. Watch your weight…
  5. Live tobacco-free…
  6. Manage conditions…
  7. Take your medicine…
  8. Be a team player…”.8

In Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease the JH note:

“It is very important to try and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially at this time of your life, with a healthy lifestyle that includes:

  • A healthy and nutritious diet
  • Regular exercise for fitness
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking
  • Minimising alcohol”.9

In Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease the JH also note:

“Lifestyle changes might not be enough for some women with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, so medication for high blood pressure and/or cholesterol may be required”.10

WISEWOMAN Program

What is the WISEWOMAN program?

Your Country may have a program similar to the (United States) WISEWOMAN Program. In WISEWOMAN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What Is the WISEWOMAN Program? the (United States) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elaborate on:

“The WISEWOMAN (Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for WOMen Across the Nation) program helps women understand and reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke and provides services to help promote lasting heart-healthy lifestyles”.11

What services does the WISEWOMAN program fund?

The CDC explain:

“The WISEWOMAN program funds heart disease and stroke risk factor screenings that include blood pressure, diabetes, body mass index (BMI), and cholesterol screenings. Services are provided in local health departments, doctors’ offices, and community health centers”.12

Know Your Numbers

What numbers do women (and men) need to know?

In Know Your Numbers They Could Just Save Your Life Go Red for Women elaborate on:

“Talk to your healthcare provider today to learn about your Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Blood Sugar and BMI (Body Mass Index). Your heart depends on it”.13

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have CVD or I have a family history of CVD?

If you think you have CVD or you have a family history of CVD, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. In Prevention of Diseases After Menopause the authors note:

“Screening for CVD at regular intervals after menopause is extremely important. This includes measurement of blood pressure, lipids and perhaps inflammatory markers, BMI, and ascertainment of lifestyle factors such as activity level and smoking status. In addition, a family history of heart disease and stroke is important”.14

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Cardiovascular Disease?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Cardiovascular Disease?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

 Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Cardiovascular Heart Disease. Page Last Reviewed: October 2019. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/cardiovascular-heart-disease Accessed: 22 November 2021
  2. Cardiovascular Heart Disease. Page Last Reviewed: October 2019. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/cardiovascular-heart-disease Accessed: 22 November 2021
  3. Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs): What Are Cardiovascular Diseases? 11 June 21. World Health Organization https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds) Accessed: 22 November 2021
  4. Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease. Last Updated: 25 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/health-after-menopause/ Accessed: 22 November 2021
  5. Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease. Last Updated: 25 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/health-after-menopause/ Accessed: 22 November 2021
  6. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. Do I have to start worrying about heart disease? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 22 November 2021
  7. Cardiovascular Heart Disease: What Increases My Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases? Page Last Reviewed: October 2019. British Heart Foundation https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/conditions/cardiovascular-heart-disease Accessed: 22 November 2021
  8. 8 Things You Can Do To Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke. Last Reviewed: 14 March 2019. American Heart Association https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/prevent-heart-disease-and-stroke Accessed: 22 November 2021
  9. Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease. Last Updated: 25 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/health-after-menopause/ Accessed: 22 November 2021
  10. Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease. Last Updated: 25 March 2021 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/health-after-menopause/ Accessed: 22 November 2021
  11. WISEWOMAN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What Is the WISEWOMAN Program? Page Last Reviewed: 02 October 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/wisewoman/faqs.htm Accessed: 22 November 2021
  12. WISEWOMAN Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What Services Does the WISEWOMAN Program Fund? Page Last Reviewed: 02 October 2019. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/wisewoman/faqs.htm Accessed: 22 November 2021
  13. Know Your Numbers They Could Just Save Your Life. Go Red for Women https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/know-your-risk/know-your-numbers Accessed: 22 November 2021
  14. Lobo, R. A., Davis, S. R., De Villiers, T. J., Gompel, A., Henderson, V. W., Hodis, H. N., Lumsden, M. A., Mack, W. J., Shapiro, S. and Baber, R. J. Prevention of Diseases After Menopause: Cardiovascular Diseases. 2014:7 https://www.imsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/wmd-2014-white-pages-english.pdf Accessed: 22 November 2021

Topic Last Updated: 22 November 2021 – Topic Last Reviewed: 22 November 2021
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