Tough Menopause May Signal Future Heart Woes

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay reporter

THURSDAY October 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) – As if the misery of hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances weren’t enough, now new research suggests that women who regularly experience moderate to severe menopause symptoms have a higher risk of stroke and heart disease.

“This analysis assessed various symptoms of menopause and their association with health outcomes. Women with two or more moderate to severe menopausal symptoms had an increased risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease,” said the study author Dr. Matthew Nudy, cardiology researcher at Penn State Hershey. Medical Center.

This study did not prove a cause and effect relationship, it only showed an association between the symptoms of menopause and stroke and other heart and vascular diseases. It is possible that the symptoms of menopause are not at all a cause of these problems. It may be that other factors, such as obesity or diabetes, cause both symptoms of menopause and poor health outcomes.

Nudy also noted that previous research has shown that women with symptoms of menopause often have other risk factors for heart disease and stroke, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol. They can also have poorer blood vessel health and increased levels of inflammation.

The latest research used data from a previous trial of over 20,000 women aged 50 to 79. The mean duration of study follow-up was seven years.

The study looked for symptoms including:

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeats, such as a fast heartbeat or a feeling of skipped beats
  • Tremors
  • Feel restless or restless
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty concentrating or forgetting
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headache or Migraine
  • Waking up several times at night.

Researchers found that when two or more of these symptoms were moderate to severe, the chances of stroke increased by 41%. The likelihood of any cardiovascular disease increased by 37% in women with two or more moderate to severe symptoms compared to women who had none.

Women who have multiple or more moderate to severe menopause symptoms may be more likely to see a doctor for relief of these symptoms. Nudy said it was a good opportunity for doctors to assess their heart disease and stroke risk.


Dr Eugenia Gianos, director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, reviewed the study and said it reaffirms previous studies on the potentially negative effects associated with menopause symptoms.

“Many cardiac syndromes are unique to women, and hormonal differences may account for the differences noted,” Gianos said.

“Unfortunately, supplementing with calcium and vitamin D did not improve results,” she added.

Future research needs to determine which factors may be responsible for the negative effects of menopause and menopause symptoms on women’s health, and find ways to alleviate menopause symptoms and associated poor outcomes, a noted Gianos.

The results were presented this week at the virtual meeting of the North American Menopause Society. The results presented at the meetings are generally considered preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

HealthDay WebMD News


SOURCES: Matthew Nudy, MD, cardiology researcher, Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, Pa .; Eugenia Gianos, MD, director, women’s heart health, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York; September 28, 2020, presentation, virtual meeting of the North American Menopause Society

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