“Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, cognitive decline and dementia, depression, and cancer are the key diseases to address”.1

Umbrella
What may the Postmenopause and Chronic Disease Umbrella include?

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

  • After/Beyond Menopause, Postmenopause
  • Chronic Conditions/Diseases/Illnesses
  • Prevention of Disease After Menopause

Postmenopause

How much of their lives will women be spending postmenopause?

On page two in Prevention of Diseases After Menopause: Introduction the authors elaborate on:

Postmenopause and Chronic Disease
“As the world population increases, along with an increase in life expectancy, many millions of women will be spending a third or more of their lives after menopause”.2

Chronic Disease

Is there an association between chronic disease and postmenopause?

On page two in Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause the International Menopause Society (IMS) elaborate on:

“Menopause is a natural development and cannot to be prevented. The chances of developing some illnesses, however, increase, and preventative measures should be taken to improve quality of life, enhance longevity, and lower the risks of age-related illnesses”.3

According to the authors of Prevention of Diseases After Menopause:

“After menopause, several chronic diseases may emerge, usually by the sixth decade, and these include obesity and metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and arthritis, dementia and cognitive decline, and cancer. An important opportunity exists at the onset of menopause to prevent or attenuate these chronic diseases which have an onset approximately 10 years later”.4

The authors of Prevention of Diseases After Menopause also note:

“Some of these conditions (cardiovascular disease) accelerate in women after menopause, and others (cancer) increase as a function of age in both men and women”.5

Obesity

Is there an association between obesity and postmenopause?

The IMS note:

“Although women frequently report weight gain at midlife, studies across different populations have consistently shown that weight gain is primarily influenced by age, not menopause”.6

The authors of Prevention of Diseases After Menopause explain:

“Obesity is a growing world-wide problem, which exacerbates many chronic disease states. In women, the altered distribution of fat that occurs at menopause leads to an increase in insulin resistance, and the incidence of diabetes has risen exponentially. This increase, in turn, translates into an increased risk of CVD and death, with the impact being greater in women than in men”.7

Cardiovascular Disease

Is there an association between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and postmenopause?

In Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health explain:

“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.

Blood pressure can increase after menopuase, 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”.8

The authors of Prevention of Diseases After Menopause 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”.9

Osteoporosis

Is there an association between osteoporosis and postmenopause?

In Prevention: Healthy Bones, Build Them for Life the (United States) National Osteoporosis Foundation explain:

“Osteoporosis and the broken bones it can cause are not part of normal aging. There is a lot you can do to protect your bones throughout your life. You’re never too young or too old to improve the health of your bones. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood. But it shouldn’t stop there. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life. Now is the time to take action”.10

The IMS note:

“Lifestyle and diet is the key strategy for preserving bone mass after menopause. Smoking and excessive alcohol use are toxic to bones and should be avoided. Moderate daily weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and is recommended”.11

Osteoarthritis

Is there an association between osteoarthritis and postmenopause?

The IMS explain:

“While osteoarthritis is more common in men than women before menopause, it is higher in women after menopause. The identification of women with a family history of arthritis or those who are beginning to have stiff joints and immobility at the start of menopause is important and may allow for interventions, such as physical therapy, weight loss, physical exercise and anti-inflammatory agents. There is some data suggesting that estrogen may have a role in improving or decreasing the risk of osteoarthritis”.12

Dementia

Is there an association between dementia and postmenopause?

According to the IMS:

“Current evidence, unfortunately, does not strongly endorse any particular risk-reduction strategy but does support some approaches over others. Brain health should be bolstered through reducing cardiovascular risk factors; cognitive reserve should be increased through mentally stimulating activities associated with occupation, leisure activities and social engagement; and Alzheimer pathology should be attacked through regular aerobic physical activity. Depression should be recognised and treated, and women in their sixties or older should not start MHT. Research continues in this area”.13

Cancer

Is there an association between cancer and postmenopause?

In Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. Is there any relationship between menopause and cancer? according to the North American Menopause Society:

“A. No, menopause itself doesn’t increase the risk of cancer. Cancers are more common as people age, however. Most cancers occur in people age 55 and older”.14

The IMS explain:

“With aging, the incidence of all cancers is expected to increase. For women, the most important cancers are breast, colon, endometrial, ovarian and lung cancer. Also, in the developing world cervical cancer is a major cause of death in women. Possible prevention of these cancers by lifestyle changes and appropriate screening gains more importance after menopause”.15

The IMS also note:

“Cessation of smoking and reduction in alcohol consumption are important to decrease the incidence of cancer. A lower fat, higher fibre, reduction in red meat diet is recommended; exercise has also been studied in clinical trials and is specified in the American Cancer Society Guidelines”.16

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help to prevent chronic disease?Postmenopause and Chronic Disease

If you would like help to prevent chronic disease, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The IMS explain:

“The menopause transition should be used as an opportunity to visit your healthcare professional for a check-up, assess potential risks and proactively start to manage later life. Obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, cognitive decline and dementia, depression, and cancer are the key diseases to address”.17

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause. 2014:2. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  2. 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: Introduction. 2014:2 https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/white_paper/wmd_white_paper_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  3. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause. 2014:2. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  4. 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: Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases After Menopause. 2014:3 https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/white_paper/wmd_white_paper_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  5.  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: Introduction. 2014:2 https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/white_paper/wmd_white_paper_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  6. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Preventing Metabolic Effects Post Menopause. 2014:4. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  7. 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: Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases After Menopause. 2014:3 https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/white_paper/wmd_white_paper_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  8. Health After Menopause: Cardiovascular Disease. Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/health-after-menopause Accessed: 12 October 2020
  9. 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/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/white_paper/wmd_white_paper_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  10. Prevention: Healthy Bones, Build Them for Life. National Osteoporosis Foundation https://www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/prevention/ Accessed: 12 October 2020
  11. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing the Risks of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis Post Menopause. 2014:3. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  12. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing the Risks of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis Post Menopause. 2014:3. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  13. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Reducing Cognitive Decline Post Menopause. 2014:3. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  14. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. Is there any relationship between menopause and cancer? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 12 October 2020
  15. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Preventing Cancer Post Menopause. 2014:3. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  16. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause: Preventing Cancer Post Menopause. 2014:4. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020
  17. Maintaining Health and Preventing Disease After the Menopause. 2014:2. International Menopause Society https://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2014/booklets/ims_wmd_booklet_2014_english.pdf Accessed: 12 October 2020

Topic Last Updated: 12 October 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 12 October 2020
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