The relationship between hormonal factors and the likelihood of cardiovascular disease in women. Analysis of a British database

2 August 2021

The cardiovascular health of women poses constant challenges that are continuously evaluated in large-scale studies. On one hand, there are the usual risk factors that we always stress on and which are not linked to gender. These include high blood pressure, diabetes, lipid abnormalities, smoking, physical inactivity. Other factors that are related specifically to the hormonal status of women contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. A recent study, published in the prestigious British Medical Journal, followed 267,000 women that weren’t initially suffering from cardiovascular disease. Early menopause, before the age of 47, is associated with a 33% increase in the relative risk of these cardiovascular diseases. The early onset of the first menstrual period as well as having a history of a stillbirth are associated with a reduced risk (minus 10% and minus 14% respectively). The highest relative risk (+ 230%) was observed in women who underwent hysterectomy and oophorectomy surgeries in the past. These statistical data once again demonstrate gender differences, illustrating the multiple stages of a woman's reproductive life and the potential impact they have on the development of postmenopausal cardiovascular disease. The role of the Woman Heart Health Center (Yaduna) is to integrate these different elements alongside the other usual risk factors in the first talks between the cardiologist and the patient, in order to guide the rest of the examinations.

Antoine Sarkis, MD, FESC, FACC

Professor of Cardiology, Saint Joseph University & Hotel Dieu de France Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon

Past President of the Lebanese Society of Cardiology.

Yaduna Board of Trustees and Board of Director