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class="article-header" itemprop="headline"> <h1>Menopause and Heart Disease: Is There a Link?</h1> </div> <p class="attribution" id="byline"> Written by Brian Krans | Published on <meta content="2012-02-15" itemprop="datePublished"/>February 15, 2012<br/>Medically Reviewed by <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health/medical-board">George Krucik, MD</a> </p> <div class="hl-widget-sharebar c"></div> <div class="sharebarContainer"><a class="link-sharebar" href="#overlaySharebar" id="sharebarLink" rel="#overlaySharebar"></a></div> <div class="dotted-line"></div> <div class="text-resize"> <a class="text1 selected" href="#text1" id="text1">A</a> <a class="text2" href="#text2" id="text2">A</a> <a class="text3" href="#text3" id="text3">A</a> </div> <div class="box-byblock-shadow"></div> </header> <div class="grid648"> <div id="fb-root"></div> <script>window.fbAsyncInit = function() { FB.init({ appId : '1529595680591919', xfbml : true, version : 'v2.1' }); }; (function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script> <div class="container-article" itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/Article"> <div class="textBlock c " id="toptoc-full-content"> <div class="article-body c" itemprop="articleBody"> <div class="box-img-thumbnail-article-container "> <div class="box-img-thumbnail-article"><img alt="Menopause and Heart Disease" class="img-thumbnail-article" itemprop="image" src="http://www.healthline.com/hlcmsresource/images/topic_centers/menopause/article-images/Heart_Disease_Menopause_194x105.jpg"/></div> </div> <p>While menopausal women are highly aware of hot flashes and other symptoms associated with this transition, the link between menopause and heart disease is still controversial.</p> <p>Women under age 50 typically have a lower risk than men of heart disease andcardiovascular complications such as a <A id="hllink24" class="hllink hllink-auto" href="http://www.healthline.com/health/stroke">stroke</A>. At menopause, the risk evens out between the sexes.</p> <p>Menopause is marked by the decline of estrogen production.  Although research remains very conflicted and generally inconclusive, reduced estrogen levels may play part in a woman’s increased risk for heart disease. </p> <p>A study in 1977 by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health found that women aged 45 to 54 had more than double the rate of heart attacks if they had gone through menopause. The study also found that postmenopausal women undergoing hormone therapy had a doubled risk of coronary heart disease than postmenopausal women who were not taking hormones. Of the 2,873 women who took part in the study, no premenopausal participants died as a result of coronary heart disease.</p> <h2>Menopause, Estrogen, and Hormone Therapy</h2> <p>Hormone therapy was once thought to be the definitive treatment to lower estrogen and ward off heart disease, <A id="hllink90" class="hllink hllink-auto" href="http://www.healthline.com/health/osteoporosis">osteoporosis</A>, and cancer. That was until 1991, when the Women’s Health Initiative launched a trial to determine the best case scenario for helping menopausal women. Among other variables, the trial involved two hormone therapy clinical trials, both of which were cut short due to health risks to the patients.</p> <p>Similar findings occurred during a 2002 study as early data showed hormone replacement therapy drastically increased a menopausal woman’s risk for heart attack, stroke, blood clots, and breast cancer.</p> <p>With all research considered, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the American Heart Association state that hormone replacement therapy shouldn’t be used to prevent <A id="hllink118" class="hllink hllink-auto" href="http://www.healthline.com/health/heart-attack">heart attack</A>, stroke, or other cardiovascular problems. Also, hormone therapy should only be used in the short term; long-term use is discouraged because of the increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and breast cancer.</p> <h2>Reducing Your Risk of Heart Disease</h2> <p>While research suggests that there is no complete safeguard against heart disease, there are preventative steps you can take to maintain your cardiovascular health.</p> <p>Some of these precautions include:</p> <ul><li>quitting smoking</li><li>managing your cholesterol levels</li><li>eating a healthy diet</li><li>exercise</li><li>maintain a healthy weight</li><li>reduce stress</li><li>managing other conditions, such as diabetes</li><li>brush and floss regularly</li></ul> <p>Make sure to talk to your doctor not only about your menopause, but also about active steps you can take to ensure your heart stays healthy.</p></div> <div class="box-pagination c"> <ul class="list-pagination c"> <li class="list-item-pagi" id="btn-previous-page"> <a class="anchor-pagi" href="#"><img alt="Previous page button" class="icon-list-item-pagi" height="14" src="http://www.healthline.com/resources/healthline/images/pagi-prev-big.v1.20141209121224.png" width="9"/></a> </li> <li class="list-item-pagi btn-page">1</li> <li class="list-item-pagi" id="btn-next-page"> <a class="anchor-pagi" href="#"><img alt="Next page button" class="icon-list-item-pagi" height="14" src="http://www.healthline.com/resources/healthline/images/pagi-next-big.v1.20141209121224.png" width="9"/></a> </li> </ul> </div> <div class="box-share-help-feedback c"> <div class="row12"> <div class="span5"> <div class="box-article-helpful"> <div class="box-helpful-question"> Was this article helpful? <span class="helpful-option-yes">Yes</span> <span class="helpful-option-no">No</span> </div> <div class="box-helpful-confirmation"></div> </div> </div> <div class="span3"> <div class="box-link-feedback"> <span class="icon-email"></span> <a class="link-feedback" href="#feedbackOverlay" id="feedbackLink" rel="#feedbackOverlay">Feedback?</a> </div> <div class="overlay-simple overlay-feedback" id="feedbackOverlay"> <div class="overlay-content"> <div class="box-form-feedback" id="feedbackformdiv"> <form action="/v2/widgetemail" id="feedbackform"> <input name="to" type="hidden" value="hrl"></input> <input id="urlfield" name="urlfield" type="hidden" value=""></input> <h2>Send us your feedback</h2> <p class="box-message">We are unable to respond directly to questions, but your feedback is greatly appreciated, and will be taken into account in our ongoing review of our Health Reference Library.<br/></p> <p> <label>Your Name:</label><br/> <input class="field-name" id="nametext" name="nametext" placeholder="Name Here" type="text"></input> <span class="box-msg-error" id="box-msg-name"><span class="icon-error">✖</span> <span id="errorMsgName">Please enter your name</span></span> </p> <p> <label>Your Email:</label><br/> <input class="field-email-address" id="feedbackemail" name="emailaddress" placeholder="name@example.com" type="email"></input> <span class="box-msg-error" id="box-msg-email"><span class="icon-error">✖</span> <span id="errorMsgEmail">Please enter your email</span></span> </p> <p> <input id="copy" name="copy" type="checkbox"></input> <label>Send me a copy</label> </p> <p class="box-textarea"> <textarea class="field-message" cols="60" id="feedbacktextarea" name="messagetext" rows="4"></textarea> </p> <div class="textarea-char-count" id="charcount">0</div> <p class="box-buttons"> <button class="btn-cancel" name="feedbackcancelbutton" type="button">Cancel</button> <button class="btn-send-msg">Send Message</button> <span class="box-loading"><img alt="" src="http://www.healthline.com/resources/base/images/ajax-loader.gif"/></span> </p> </form> <p class="box-privacy"><span class="icon-lock"></span> Email addresses will not be shared with 3rd parties. See <a href="http://www.healthline.com/health/privacy-policy" target="_blank">privacy policy</a></p> </div> <div class="box-thankyou" id="thankyou"> <h2><span class="icon-green-checkmark"></span> Thank you.</h2> <p>Your message has been sent.</p> </div> <div class="box-submit-error" id="submissionerror"> <h2>We're sorry, an error occurred.</h2> <p>We are unable to collect your feedback at this time. However, your feedback is important to us. Please try again later.</p> </div> </div><div class="overlay-footer"> <div class="overlay-close">Close</div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="row12"> <div class="span12 hl-article-references"> <div class="hl-article-source"> <hr class="hl-references-line" style="width:100%;"/> <p class="hl-references-title"><a href="#"><span class="view-references-title">Show</span> Sources</a> <span class="hl-hide-show-icon hl-icon-down-arrow"></span></p> <div class="hl-references-body"> <div class="basesources"> <ul><li>Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). <em>Cleveland Clinic</em>. Retrieved February 12, 2012, from <a href="http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/women/estrogen.aspx">http://my.clevelandclinic.org/heart/women/estrogen.aspx</a> </li><li>Gordon, T., Kannel, W., Hjortland, M., & McNamara, P. (1978, August 1). Menopause and Coronary Heart Disease The Framingham Study. <em>Annals of Internal Medicine</em>. Retrieved February 12, 2012, from <a href="http://www.annals.org/content/89/2/157.short">www.annals.org/content/89/2/157.short</a> </li><li>Menopausal Hormone Therapy and Heart Disease,  HHS, NIH, NHLBI. (n.d.). <em>NIH Heart, Lung and Blood Institute</em>. Retrieved February 12, 2012, from <a href="http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/lower-risk/hormone-therapy.htm">http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/educational/hearttruth/lower-risk/hormone-therapy.htm</a> </li><li>Stevenson, J., Howard, H., Pickar, J., & Lobo, R. (2009, June 29). Coronary heart disease and menopause management: The swinging pendulum of HRT. <em>Atherosclerosis Journal</em>. 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HLSHAREBAR.page_description : ''), email_page_url: HLSHAREBAR.email_page_url, email_page_title: HLSHAREBAR.email_page_title //page_image: page_image }); }); }); </script> <script> require([ "base/title-area", "base/overlay" ], function( WidgetTitleArea, AppOverlay ){ WidgetTitleArea.initialize(); var onBeforeLoadFunc = function() { $('.hl-main-content').css('z-index','auto'); }; var cfgOverlay = { maskColor: '#555555', maskLoadSpeed: 200, maskOpacity: 0.5, maskZindex: 9999999, top: "center", left: "center", close: ".overlay-close", onBeforeLoad: onBeforeLoadFunc }; AppOverlay.initialize( cfgOverlay ); }); require([ "base/rwd/title-area" ], function( WidgetTitleAreaResponsive ){ WidgetTitleAreaResponsive.initialize({ pubDateExists: true, medReviewDateExists: false, medReviewedBy: '', reviewDate: '' }); }); </script> <script> require([ 'jquery' ], function( $ ){ // activate toggle for hide/show FB comments $(window).load(function() { if( $('.fb-view-comments-bar').length ) { $('.fb-view-comments-bar').click(function() { $('.fb-view-comments-bar').toggleClass( 'open' ); if( $('.fb-view-comments-bar').hasClass( 'open' ) ) { $('.fb-view-comments-bar span.fb-view-comments-arrow').removeClass( "hl-icon-right-solid-arrow" ).addClass('hl-icon-down-arrow'); $('#fb-view-count').hide(); } else { $('.fb-view-comments-bar span.fb-view-comments-arrow').removeClass( "hl-icon-down-arrow" ).addClass('hl-icon-right-solid-arrow'); $('#fb-view-count').show(); } if($('#fb-view-count').html() == ' ()') $('#fb-view-count').hide(); }); } }); }); </script> <script> require(["jquery","base/overlay","base/feedback"],function($,AppOverlay){ var onBeforeLoadFunc = function() { $('.hl-main-content').css('z-index','auto'); $('#feedbackformdiv').show(); }; var cfgOverlay = { selectorValue: 'feedbackOverlay', maskColor: '#555555', maskLoadSpeed: 200, maskOpacity: 0.5, maskZindex: 9999999, top: "center", left: "center", close: ".overlay-close", onBeforeLoad: onBeforeLoadFunc }; AppOverlay.initialize(cfgOverlay); }); </script> <script> require(['jquery', 'base/content-promotion-widget'],function($, AppContentPromotion){ var config = { contentPromotionParam: '', platformPageType: 'regularArticle' }; AppContentPromotion.initialize(config); }); </script> <script> require(['jquery', "base/dfpmanager", "base/responsive-ads"],function($, AppDfpmanager, AppResponsiveAds){ $(function() { // determine if wsl ad is shown on page load var isAdOnPageLoad = true, adRBTimeDelay = 300; var breakpointsToHideAd = []; var breakpointsToHideAdByPageType = []; breakpointsToHideAd = ['997','768','600','480','320']; isAdOnPageLoad = AppResponsiveAds.getShowAdOnPageLoad("WSL",breakpointsToHideAd,breakpointsToHideAdByPageType); // isHideWSLOnPageLoad: true isAdOnPageLoad = false; adRBTimeDelay = 0; var cfgDfpManager = { isAdOnPageLoad: isAdOnPageLoad, adshost : 'http://ads.healthline.com', dfpAdSite : 'hn.us.hl.lc.x.x.x', btk1 : '', btk2 : '', kw : 'menopause,menopause_complications,4987737', k1 : 'menopause', k2 : 'femalehealth', k3 : 'health', pos : 'wsl', ugc : 'false', ac : '', uac : '', akh : 'Menopause and Heart Disease Is There a Link ', aks : '5000', env : '', msiteID : '', adTagPageUrl : encodeURIComponent('/health/menopause/heart-disease'), yeildex : 'true' , targetsrc : '' }; var wsltimeout = setTimeout(function() { AppDfpmanager.wslIframeInit(cfgDfpManager); var dfpAdBodyWSL = document.getElementById("DFPAD_WSL").innerHTML; var doneWSL = false; if (dfpAdBodyWSL.indexOf('817-grey.gif') > 1) { document.getElementById("ads-box-header-wsl1").style.display = "none"; } }, adRBTimeDelay); }); // dom ready }); </script> <script> u_microsoft_adunit_channelids = "" microsoft_adunit_channelids = ""; document.write('<input id="msftChannelIds1" name="msftChannelIds1" type="hidden" value="'+microsoft_adunit_channelids+'">'); require(['jquery',"base/dfpmanager","base/responsive-ads","matchmedia"],function($,AppDfpmanager,AppResponsiveAds){ // determine if mr1 ad is shown on page load var isAdOnPageLoad = true; var breakpointsToHideAd = []; var breakpointsToHideAdByPageType = []; isAdOnPageLoad = AppResponsiveAds.getShowAdOnPageLoad("MR1",breakpointsToHideAd,breakpointsToHideAdByPageType); var adSize = '300x250,300x600'; if(matchMedia('only screen and (max-width: 600px)').matches) { adSize = '300x50,300x250'; } var cfgDfpManager = { isAdOnPageLoad: isAdOnPageLoad, adshost : 'http://ads.healthline.com', adSize: adSize, dfpAdSite : 'hn.us.hl.lc.x.x.x', btk1 : '', btk2 : '', kw : 'menopause,menopause_complications,4987737', k1 : 'menopause', k2 : 'femalehealth', k3 : 'health', pos : 'mr1', ugc : 'false', ac : '', uac : '', akh : 'Menopause and Heart Disease Is There a Link ', aks : '5000', env : '', msiteID : '', adTagPageUrl : encodeURIComponent('/health/menopause/heart-disease'), yeildex : 'true', targetsrc : '' }; var mr1timeout = setTimeout(function() { AppDfpmanager.mr1IframeInit(cfgDfpManager); }, 300); }); </script> <script> require(["jquery","base/dfpmanager","base/responsive-ads","matchmedia"],function($,AppDfpmanager,AppResponsiveAds){ $(function() { // determine if mr2 ad is shown on page load var isAdOnPageLoad = true; var breakpointsToHideAd = []; var breakpointsToHideAdByPageType = []; breakpointsToHideAd = ['997','768','600','480','320']; var isAdOnPageLoad = AppResponsiveAds.getShowAdOnPageLoad("MR2",breakpointsToHideAd,breakpointsToHideAdByPageType); var cfgDfpManager = { isAdOnPageLoad: isAdOnPageLoad, adshost : 'http://ads.healthline.com', dfpAdSite : 'hn.us.hl.lc.x.x.x', btk1 : '', btk2 : '', kw : 'menopause,menopause_complications,4987737', k1 : 'menopause', k2 : 'femalehealth', k3 : 'health', pos : 'mr2', ugc : 'false', ac : '', uac : '', env : '', msiteID : '', adTagPageUrl : encodeURIComponent('/health/menopause/heart-disease'), yeildex : 'true' , targetsrc : '' }; AppDfpmanager.mr2IframeInit(cfgDfpManager); }); // dom ready }); </script> <script> require( [ "jquery", "base/overlay" ], function( $, AppOverlay ) { var onBeforeLoadFunc = function() { $('.hl-main-content').css('z-index','auto'); $('#sitepopupdiv').show(); }; var cfgOverlay = { maskColor: '#555555', maskLoadSpeed: 200, maskOpacity: 0.5, maskZindex: 9999999, top: "center", left: "center", close: ".overlay-close", onBeforeLoad: onBeforeLoadFunc }; AppOverlay.initialize( cfgOverlay ); $(document).trigger( 'overlay_init' ); $(document).ready( function() { var idSitePopupLink = $( '#sitePopupLink' ); var overlayPageURI = encodeURI( "\u002fhealth\u002fmenopause\u002fheart\u002ddisease" ); idSitePopupLink.click( function() { HL_ga_sendTrackEvent({ gaEventCategory : 'Any Page', gaEventAction : 'pop-up-overlay:', gaEventLabel : overlayPageURI }); }) }); }); </script> <script> require(['jquery', 'base/image-gallery', 'base/dfpmanager', 'base/overlay', 'require.dust!resources/base/js/templates/image-gallery', 'lib/dust-helpers-1.1.1', 'jquery-ui', 'j/jquery.cookie', 'lib/date'], function($, AppImageGallery, AppDfpManager, AppOverlay, ImageGalleryTemplate){ var configAdPositionsToHide; var addAdPosition = true; var pageAdPositionsToHide = ['wsr']; AppImageGallery.initialize({ imageGalleryName : '', adRBTimeDelay : 300, adPositionsToHide : pageAdPositionsToHide }); var onBeforeLoadFunction = function(){ $('.hl-main-content').css('z-index','auto'); $('#hlImageGallery').show(); }; var configOverlay = { maskColor: '#555555', maskLoadSpeed: 200, maskOpacity: 0.5, maskZindex: 9999999, top: 'center', left: 'center', close: '.overlay-close', onBeforeLoad: onBeforeLoadFunction }; AppOverlay.initialize(configOverlay); }); </script> <script> var isWslAdDisplayed = true; var isArticleHelpful = true; // check if adPositionsToHide from Config file is not empty for current partner // if true, then get values // then compare values to this page adPositionsToHide // - add new ones from config file to this page var configAdPositionsToHide; var addAdPosition = true; var pageAdPositionsToHide = ['wsr']; // page type specific ads to hide if( !isWslAdDisplayed ) { pageAdPositionsToHide.push('wsl'); } require([ 'base/article', 'base/overlay', 'base/article-common', 'matchmedia', 'jquery.ba-resize' ],function( AppArticle, AppOverlay, AppArticleCommon ){ var cfgOverlay = { maskColor: '#555555', maskLoadSpeed: 200, maskOpacity: 0.5, maskZindex: 9999999, top: "center", left: "center", close: ".overlay-close" }; AppOverlay.initialize(cfgOverlay); AppArticle.initialize({ isWslAdDisplayed: isWslAdDisplayed, isArticleHelpful: isArticleHelpful, articlePageUri: '/health/menopause/heart-disease', adRBTimeDelay : 300, adPositionsToHide : pageAdPositionsToHide, isNavigator: false }); AppArticleCommon.initialize(); var adRefresh = false, mr1RefreshTime = 4000, articleTitle = "Menopause and Heart Disease: Is There a Link?", isBackToTop = false; adRefresh = true; require([ 'base/article-pagination-v3' ],function( AppArticlePagination ){ AppArticlePagination.initialize({ isPaginationOverride: false, adRBTimeDelay: 300, adPositionsToHide: pageAdPositionsToHide, adRefresh: adRefresh, mr1RefreshTime: mr1RefreshTime, rightRailNotSticky: false, articleTitle: articleTitle, isFbCommentsOn: false, isBackToTop: isBackToTop }); }); }); </script> <script> require([ 'base/rwd/article' ], function( AppArticleResponsive ){ var isTOCarticle = false; var isMsiteId = false; var isMoveMr2 = true, isReadMore = false; AppArticleResponsive.initialize({ adRBTimeDelay : 300, isTOCarticle : isTOCarticle, isMsiteId : isMsiteId, templateMerge : 'true', isNavigator: false, isMoveMr2: isMoveMr2, isReadMore: isReadMore }); }); </script> <script> require(['jquery',"base/dfpmanager","base/responsive-ads","matchmedia"],function($,AppDfpmanager,AppResponsiveAds){ $(function() { // determine if pb ad is shown on page load var isAdOnPageLoad = true; var breakpointsToHideAd = []; var breakpointsToHideAdByPageType = []; breakpointsToHideAd = ['600','480','320']; var isAdOnPageLoad = AppResponsiveAds.getShowAdOnPageLoad("PB",breakpointsToHideAd,breakpointsToHideAdByPageType); var cfgDfpManager = { isAdOnPageLoad: isAdOnPageLoad, adshost : 'http://ads.healthline.com', logged_in : 'false', dfpAdSite : 'hn.us.hl.lc.x.x.x', btk1 : '', btk2 : '', kw : 'menopause,menopause_complications,4987737', k1 : 'menopause', k2 : 'femalehealth', k3 : 'health', pos : 'lb', ugc : 'false', ac : '', uac : '', akh : '', aks : '5000', env : '', msiteID : '', adTagPageUrl : encodeURIComponent('/health/menopause/heart-disease'), partner : 'healthline', pg_dart_site : 'hn.us.hl.lc.x.x.x', pg_dart_zone : 'menopause', pg_k2 : 'femalehealth', pHLID : '4987737', HLID : '2791622|4987737', visit_type : 'HCviewer',hctype : 'H40',lcmain : 'Menopause', yeildex : 'true', targetsrc : '' }; var pbtimeout = setTimeout(function() { AppDfpmanager.pbIframeInit(cfgDfpManager); }, 300); }); // dom ready }); </script> <script> var HL_adBlankMonitor = function(cfg) { if(cfg.adBlankCodes.length > 0) { for(var i = 0; i < cfg.adBlankCodes.length; i++) { if (typeof HL_ga_sendTrackEvent === 'function') { HL_ga_sendTrackEvent({ gaEventCategory : 'Ad Display', gaEventAction : 'Blank Ad', gaEventLabel : 'adBlankCode=' + cfg.adBlankCodes[i] + '&adspot=' + cfg.adPosition + '&pageUrl=' + window.location.pathname }); } } } }; require(["base/util/visit-tracker"],function(AppVisitTracker){ AppVisitTracker.initialize(); }); </script> <script> require([ 'healthline/newsletter-signup' ], function( newsletterSignup ){ newsletterSignup.setConfig({ newsletterHost: 'newsletter.healthline.com' }); }); </script> <script> /* load module */ require(["healthline/footer"]); </script> </a>