Hormonal balance plays a role in a woman’s overall health, including heart health. While cardiovascular health is impacted by many things, hormone therapy may help to support heart health, in addition to the many other benefits.
According to an article from the Committee on Gynecologic Practice, some evidence supports the idea of a timing hypothesis. These studies indicate that heart benefits when hormone therapy is used earlier on in menopause before obvious female heart changes occur.
The hormone experts are Metro Best Health in Columbia, MD treat hormone therapy with an individualized approach. And they can help patients understand their hormone therapy options and how it may provide beneficial in prevention of heart disease.
Hormone Therapy and Estrogen’s Role in Heart Disease
Estrogen plays a major role in prevention of heart disease in women. The natural decrease in estrogen production as a woman enters, or is near entering, menopause means females will experience significant changes that put them at greater risk for heart disease.
Decreases in estrogen levels mean that women experience changes in their blood vessels, and they may be more likely to experience blood clots or plaque buildup. Estrogen also supports healthy cholesterol levels. As estrogen levels decrease, changes in lipid levels occur and the risk of higher bad cholesterol may occur.
With changes to blood vessels and arteries, the risk of higher blood pressure also increases due to drop in estrogen levels. As women age, there is more of a chance that artery linings can thicken. This means that heart and blood flow constriction and clogging is possible.
Heart Disease in Women
Women typically develop heart disease later in life than men. But this does not mean they are less likely to get heart disease or that they are less impacted. Heart disease is a serious concern amongst women entering menopause.
In clinical studies, the link between the transition into menopause and heart health is becoming more apparent. Studies spanning 20 years have indicated heart health and risk of cardiovascular disease is impacted by the transition into menopause. Changes in estrogen levels of women who are pre or peri menopausal are linked to changes in lipids, body composition, lipoproteins and overall vascular health that puts these women at great risk of heart disease.
The type of menopause a woman is experience may influence the degree of risk for heart disease. It was found that women who are experience menopause as a result of surgical removal of the ovaries, who were not supplementing with hormone therapy, were at higher risk than other types of menopauses.
While studies suggest postmenopausal women are at a higher risk for heart disease, perimenopausal women are also beginning to experience the changes that put them at risk for heart disease. This presents a case for beginning hormone therapy earlier, to increase changes of optimal heart health and heart disease prevention.
Hormone Therapy Aids in Heart Disease Prevention for Women
Heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in the United States. It is a greater threat than cancer and other chronic disease. Considering these numbers, it is critical for medical providers to understand research and help patients find preventative measures to protect them from heart disease.
In the past, medical providers may have been hesitant to provide hormone therapy as a prevention aid in heart disease due to inadequate or outdated research. Even though the role of estrogen in protecting blood vessels, arteries, and cholesterol levels, hormone therapy has been under utilized in the fight against heart disease. But recent studies are helping medical providers understand how important it is to provide hormone therapy to female patients at risk of heart disease.
Hormone Therapy and Heart Disease Prevention | Columbia, MD
In addition to the expected outcome of hormone therapy, including relief from hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, brain fog and improvements in energy levels and libido, hormone therapy is now being recognized as an important treatment modality for heart disease prevention. At Metro Best Health in Columbia, MD, our hormone experts are ready to discuss hormone therapy and its role in heart disease prevention!