The Menopause and Your Heart

The age at which you go through menopause can dramatically change your risk of heart disease. Here's how the menopause can affect your heart.

The menopause comes with a wide range of symptoms that typically last for around 4 years, although some women experience these for significantly longer. The most common symptoms of the menopause are changes in your period, hot flushes, mood changes and sweating at night. Some women also experience heart palpitations1

During the menopause, the levels of different hormones in the blood can change significantly. Oestrogen is the driving force behind the menopause. But it doesn't just affect the menstrual cycle – it can also affect your mood, bone density and heart health1. Oestrogen has been linked with lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol so may protect against heart disease. The levels of oestrogen in the female body drop dramatically during the perimenopause, which often occurs between 30 and 45 years of age. After the menopause, a woman's risk of developing coronary heart disease substantially increases1.

When you go through the menopause can alter how likely you are to develop a heart condition. According to one study, early menopause (before the age of 50) is linked with a higher risk of heart disease2. Menopausal women under 40 are twice as likely to have a cardiac event (such as a heart attack) than those aged over 602. No matter when you go through the menopause, it's crucial that you keep your heart health in mind.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is sometimes used to help alleviate symptoms – this therapy can boost oestrogen levels, decreasing some menopausal symptoms. HRT typically does not affect a person's risk of heart attack, although taking HRT tablets may increase the risk of blood clots in some people. It is a safe, commonly used treatment.

One study found that taking 80mg of aged garlic extract for 12 weeks decreased cholesterol levels in postmenopausal women. Homocysteine levels were also decreased, which may lead to a lower risk of heart disease3. Taking a garlic-based heart health supplement like Kwai Heartcare, or NEW Kwai Heartcare+ Japanese Black Garlic can help promote good heart health. Keeping active, not smoking and eating a healthy diet will help to manage the menopause and maintain your heart health.

Always talk with your GP before making any changes to your diet, lifestyle and medications.