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Still lots to learn about menopause heart risk in women

The menopause may have nothing to do with a women’s increased heart attack risk, according to new research.

It’s widely understood that a women’s risk of dying from heart or circulatory disease rises sharply after menopause because of hormonal changes. But a new study suggests heart disease mortality rates in women increase with age and are unaffected by the menopause specifically.

The findings also showed that the risk of men under the age of 45 suffering from heart disease increases by 30 percent a year, but slows after that age to around five percent a year.

Amy Thompson, our Senior Cardiac Nurse, said: “We’re still a long way from fully understanding the reasons why men and women are affected by heart disease in such different ways.

“It’s been thought for some time that women are protected by their hormones up until the menopause, but this research suggests that it could be down to other biological differences between men and women. We need to see much more research in this area to find out what is going on and why.

“What we do know is that every single one of us is at an increased risk of heart disease as we get older. Old, young; man or woman; there are plenty of ways we can all look after our heart health. Stopping smoking, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are great ways to protect your heart as you get older.”

The latest study into the effects of the menopause was published in the British Medical Journal.

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