Menopause, changes in the menstrual cycle predict the risk of heart disease

Menopause, changes in the menstrual cycle predict the risk of heart disease
Menopause, changes in the menstrual cycle predict the risk of heart disease

Often in women who are preparing to menopause the duration of period becomes longer. According to one studio conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and published in “Menopause”, the timing of these changes could provide clues to the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, the scientists found that people whose menstrual cycles increased in length two years before the advent of the menopausal period, had better vascular health conditions than those who did not change during the climacteric. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women and the likelihood of suffering from it increases significantly after middle age. Menopause, in fact, is a multi-stage transition that could favor the appearance of these disorders.

The average length of a menstrual cycle is 28 days, although it can vary greatly from individual to individual. Women with short cycles spend more time with high levels of estrogen compared to those with shorter cycles and this difference in hormone values ​​could explain why long and irregular cycles during reproductive years have been linked to cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, osteoporosis and other conditions. But can changes in menstrual cycle length during climacteric predict future heart health? To answer the question, the scholars analyzed the data of 428 subjects. The analysis included participants between the ages of 45 and 52 for up to 10 years or until postmenopause.

The team, measuring the stiffness and thickness of the arteries, identified three distinct trajectories in the length of the menstrual cycle during the transition phase. About 62% of women had stable cycles that did not change significantly before menopause; on the contrary about 16% and 22% experienced a elongation of the cycle five years and two years respectively before the arrival of menopause. Participants belonging to this second group had more favorable values ​​of hardness and thickness of the arteries, elements that can predict a lower risk of cardiovascular events.

Although it is not yet clear why the possibility of suffering from cardiovascular diseases is higher in subjects with a regular menstrual cycle, the authors believe that the protective role exerted by estrogen against the heart of young women with short cycles is lost with the years go by. The next step will be to understand if the menstrual cycle patterns used for the study are related to others factors cardiovascular risk. First of all the abdominal fat, previously associated with the likelihood of developing heart disease in postmenopausal women.


Menopause menstrual cycle predict risk heart disease

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