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Early Menopause Symptoms Linked to Heart Disease Risk

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For countless women, the monthly menstrual cycle brings all kinds of complications and frustrations. While PMS affects millions of women, it’s typically viewed as “normal,” despite the havoc it can wreak.

And then, of course, there’s the seemingly endless array of products and physical symptoms associated with “that time of the month” — and yet, women have to carry on as normal. As women age, the idea of menopause might actually be a welcome one.

Despite some of the uncomfortable changes that come along with this hormonal transition, it’s not uncommon for women to look forward to this change. However, according to recent data, you might not want to be too eager to go through it.

According to researchers, women who reach menopause before they turn 50 have been shown to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Although 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes, heart disease is actually the bigger threat and is still the leading cause of death in America.

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A new analysis revealed that women who experience premature menopause may be more likely to have a non-fatal cardiac event; in fact, women who reach menopause when they’re younger than 40 were discovered to be twice as likely to experience this type of health scare compared to those who experience menopause around the age of 50.

Unfortunately, it’s not only younger women who may have to worry. Other evidence suggests that women who experience persistent or frequent hot flashes, a common symptom associated with menopause, may also have a higher risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Participants who reported frequent hot flashes showed twice the risk of heart trouble during this particular study with an 80% higher risk over a 20-year period.

If a woman experiences frequent hot flashes, this could serve as a clue for medical professionals to intervene, maintain study authors.

In other words, women might not have to worry about whether their family will need their life insurance benefits just yet (despite the fact that 86% of those policies will lapse without any payouts anyway).

Experts recommend that women who experience persistent hot flashes should make health-conscious changes to their lifestyles now, such as giving up smoking, adopting a healthy diet, and seeing their doctors regularly.

And since the American Heart Association recommends that children over the age of two engage in at least an hour a day of moderate physical activity, women preparing for or currently experiencing menopause should make an effort to fit in their exercise, as well.

It’s also a good idea to eliminate stress as much as possible (which might be easier said than done!), as this can help your heart in the long term.

Menopause isn’t typically avoidable, but the risks associated with menopause symptoms might be. By keeping an open dialogue with your physician and mitigating certain lifestyle factors, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to minimize the likelihood of a cardiac event — even if you can’t escape the other annoying symptoms.