Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Heart Disease Risks Rise After Menopause

Monday, September 15, 2008 - Stem Cell Guru

Reading the title of this post, it will come as no surprise that this post will concentrate on women's health. However, if you are a man, read on anyway- we all have women in our lives (unless you are Cast Away on a deserted island like Tom Hanks and your only friend is a volleyball.) And most of what this article on heart disease says can apply to men as well as women.

Here is a health fact on the heart that you should be aware of: Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death of women in the United States, killing more than 230,000 women each year.

I found this new article about the risks of heart disease after menopause. It was fairly interesting

Dr. Chad Hoyt, a cardiologist states that coronary artery disease risk factors increase after menopause and that every woman should be aware of her coronary heart disease risk factors:
  • blood pressure

  • blood sugar levels that indicate diabetes

  • level of exercise

  • body weight

  • cholesterol levels

However, it is best to always be vigilant, if a woman doesn't have risk factors, she may still have potential for a heart attack. Reversing that, if a woman does have risk factors such as those shown above, it doesn't necessarily mean she has coronary heart disease.

Dr. Hoyt then touts the benefits of a test that has been around for a long time, but is just gaining acceptance by the American Heart Association- a calcium scoring test. It is a non-invasive test that detects the amount of calcium in the coronary arteries.

The New England Journal recently published a study saying that "The coronary calcium score is a strong predictor of incident coronary heart disease" That means the amount of calcium in the arteries is related to a woman's heart attack risks (a man's risks too).

Dr. Dach explains this coronary calcium scoring test better than I ever could. This is highly recommended reading for all and this test could possibly save your life.

One important thing to note- The calcium score is not related to the calcium you may drink in milk for example. When plaque accumulates in the arteries, it hardens or "calcifies" as time goes on. That is the calcium that is referred to in this calcium scoring test.

I don't want to confuse you more, but this is very important too. In this study, it shows that calcium supplementation that women take for osteoporosis can increase the risks of a heart attack:
  • Healthy older women randomised to calcium supplementation showed increased rates of myocardial infarction

  • This effect could outweigh any benefits on bone from calcium supplements

Many thanks to Dr. Dach for much of the information in this post- especially his info on the calcium score testing.



Blogger jo.pitcairn said...

Do you mean that taking a mineral and vitamin supplement can increase the risk of Heart Disease?
Can you have low cholesterol and high calcification?

4:41 PM  
Blogger Jerry Steele, TheraVitae said...

The study showed that calcium supplementation can increase the risks of a heart attack. Yes, it is possible to have low cholesterol and high calcification. Cholesterol can be a marker, but not necessarily. That is why the article said it is a good idea to get a coronary calcium scoring test.

10:27 PM  

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