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Hot flushes could put women at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes, study suggests

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Hot flushes could put women at greater risk of heart disease and diabetes, with researchers warning those going through menopause could develop ‘metabolic syndrome’

  • Hot flushes¬†affects around three quarters of women experiencing menopause

Severe hot flushes could increase women’s risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to a new study.

The common and uncomfortable symptom affects around three quarters of women experiencing the menopause, and can last for up to 10 years.

But, if untreated, it could lead to what is called ‘metabolic syndrome’, experts have warned.

This is the term given to when a group of three or more conditions – such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels – occur at the same time.

And people who suffer from metabolic syndrome are at a higher risk of developing the likes of heart disease, type 2 diabetes or having a stroke.

Severe hot flushes could increase women's risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to a new study

Severe hot flushes could increase women’s risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, according to a new study

Researchers from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens examined 825 health women aged between 40 and 65, who had recently gone through menopause.

They monitored these women over the course of 15 years, and found that those who suffered from moderate to severe hot flushes were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, as well as high blood pressure.

Previous studies have also shown women experiencing hot flushes have a higher risk of developing different types of conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.

But this is the first time a study has been carried out in women with varying degrees of symptoms.

The team said their findings highlight the importance of using hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to treat symptoms in menopausal women.

Lead researcher Dr Elena Armeni said: ‘Our results re-emphasise the role of cardiovascular prevention strategies, such as the use of HRT, which should be implemented shortly after menopause.

The common and uncomfortable symptom affects around three quarters of women experiencing the menopause, and can last for up to 10 years

The common and uncomfortable symptom affects around three quarters of women experiencing the menopause, and can last for up to 10 years

‘This healthy group of women who are already candidates for HRT should be encouraged to opt for this treatment.’ The researchers said if further studies confirm the most symptomatic women have a higher risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes or a stroke, this group will require ‘appropriate health education to ensure they will remain fit and healthy in old age’.

This weekend it emerged women are still struggling to get a hold of HRT medication a year after shortages crippled the supply chain.

Sufferers are once again resorting to sharing medication and waiting months for their prescriptions to be fulfilled.

The Daily Mail’s ‘Fix the HRT Crisis’ campaign, launched last year, aimed to help women get access to their much-needed medication during supply issues.

Less than a month after our campaign launch the government announced a Serious Shortages Protocol, making it easier for pharmacists to substitute treatments.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) also made the decision to make a particular form of HRT available over-the-counter in a landmark UK first, and a scheme saving menopausal women more than £200 a year came into force last month.

The findings of the new study were presented at the 25th European Congress of Endocrinology in Istanbul.

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