Heart DiseasePreventive MedicineWomen’s Health


After menopause, women have a lot of health problems to worry about. Besides hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and osteoporosis, women now have to worry about developing heart failure. Yes, heart failure, which differs from a heart attack. A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, is damage to the heart muscle that occurs as a result of a blocked coronary artery. The blood supply, and thus oxygen, is cut off from the heart muscle, and that section of the muscle dies. Conversely, heart failure is a weakening of the pumping function of the heart muscle caused by a number of different problems. The heart is no longer able to efficiently pump blood so blood backs up into the lungs causing shortness of breath. 

It’s not news that high total and LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol lead to coronary disease and subsequently, heart attacks. IT IS NEWS, however, that post menopausal women with a total cholesterol above 240 mg% and an HDL-cholesterol above 100 mg% are at greater risk for heart failure. No reason was given for this problem, but I would think it’s due to vasculitis caused by inflammation from high cholesterol. LDL-Cholesterol and triglyceride were not associated with heart failure risk. 

This study was done on postmenopausal women in Japan. I’m not certain if this information in Japanese women correlates similarly to U.S. women because of major dietary and lifestyle differences between Americans and the Japanese. For the time being, it appears the results translate. Post menopausal American women must continue to control their cholesterol levels as has been recommended for many years.

References: Family Medicine Today. “Postmenopausal women with high total or HDL cholesterol at increased risk for heart failure, compared with women with normal cholesterol levels, data indicate.” 2023 July 13.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check Also
Back to top button