Setiap wanita akan mengalami zaman menopause (putus haid). Apabila tiada lagi hormon estrogen yang dirembeskan maka risiko serangan sakit jantung menjadi tinggi.
Fenomena semulajadi ini tidak dapat dielakkan, namun begitu terdapat berbagai cara untuk mengurangkan risiko serangan sakit jantung ini iaitu dengan mengubah cara hidup kepada cara hidup sihat, termasuklah tidak merokok, mengawal berat badan, melakukan senaman 3-5 kali seminggu, dan memilih makanan yang berkhasiat dan dapat mengurangkan risiko sakit jantung seperti kurangkan makanan berlemak, lebihkan makanan bijirin (cereals), sayuran dan buah-buahan. Selain itu, rawatan dan pengambilan ubat untuk mengawal penyakit yang berkait atau menjadi faktor risiko bagi sakit jantung, seperti diabetes, kandungan kolesterol yang tinggi dan tekanan darah tinggi, adalah perlu.
Hasil kajian terkini menunjukkan bahawa terapi penggantian hormon estrogen atau kombinasi estrogen dengan progesteron (HRT) tidak memberi kesan yang ketara jika ia mula diambil selepas menopause. Jika hormon gantian ini diambil sebelum menopause, keputusannya adalah memberangsangkan.
Perincian lanjut tentang perkara ini terdapat dalam artikel yang dipanjangkan di bawah ini….
Menopause and Heart DiseaseReviewed by Mikio A. Nihira, MDMany women think that heart disease is a man’s disease. It isn’t. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. In fact, after age 50, nearly half of all deaths in women are due to some form of cardiovascular disease. That’s more than deaths from all cancers combined.Once a woman reaches the age of 50, about the age of natural menopause, her risk for heart disease increases dramatically. In young women who have undergone early or surgical menopause, who do not take estrogen, their risk for heart disease is also higher. Women who have gone through menopause and also have other heart disease risk factors, such as the following, are at even greater risk. Other heart disease risk factors include:* Diabetes* Smoking* High blood pressure* High LDL (low density lipoproteins) or “bad” cholesterol* Low HDL (high density lipoproteins) or “good” cholesterol* Obesity* Inactive lifestyle* Family history of heart disease
How Is Heart Disease Linked to Menopause?Heart disease becomes more of a risk for women after menopause.How Can Menopausal Women Reduce Their Risk of Heart Disease?A healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing heart disease in women. Incorporating the following tips into your everyday life may help you reduce your risk of heart disease during and after menopause.* Avoid or quit smoking. Smokers have twice the risk of heart attack than nonsmokers. In addition to eliminating cigarettes, stay away from other peoples’ smoke. Secondhand smoke also increases the risk of heart disease.* Maintain a healthy body weight. The more you weigh, the harder your heart has to work to give your body nutrients. Research has shown that being overweight contributes to the onset of heart disease.* Exercise for at least three to five times per week. The heart is like any other muscle in that it needs to be worked to keep it strong and healthy. Being active or exercising regularly (ideally, at least 30 minutes every day) helps improve how well the heart pumps blood through your body. Activity and exercise also help reduce many other risk factors. It helps lower high blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces stress, helps keep weight off, and improves blood sugar levels.* Eat well. Follow a diet low in saturated fat; low in trans fat (partially hydrogenated fats); and high in fiber, whole grains, legumes (such as beans and peas), fruits, vegetables, fish, folate-rich foods, and soy.* Treat and control medical conditions. Diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure are known risk factors for heart disease.* Take an aspirin every day, if approved by your doctor. Check with your doctor first; he or she will recommend the dose, if any, that is most appropriate for you.Can Hormone Replacement Therapy Reduce My Risk of Heart Disease?For many years, preliminary research showed that estrogen, through hormone replacement therapy (HRT), could possibly reduce the risk of heart disease in women. Other, more recent studies of women with existing heart disease have not shown a benefit after taking estrogen. In addition, the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a 15-year government-funded study of postmenopausal women taking HRT, confirmed a modest increase in the risk of heart disease in the women taking combination HRT (estrogen and progesterone). This increased risk was not shown in the women taking estrogen alone. As a result, it is no longer recommended that estrogen or combination HRT be used to prevent heart disease.A newer study, published in the January/February 2006 issue of The Journal of Women’s Health showed that the risk of heart disease demonstrated in the WHI may be related more to the advanced age of the participants as opposed to the HRT. The study also found that HRT given to younger women, at the onset of menopause, appeared to decrease the risk of heart disease.Another study, published in the February 13, 2006 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at nearly 11,000 women aged 50 to 79 taking only estrogen. (Women who have not had a hysterectomy must take progesterone along with estrogen to reduce the risk of uterine cancer.) Researchers reported no overall difference in heart attack risk among women who took the hormone and those who did not. In addition, there appeared to be a lower overall risk of heart disease in the women who began taking the estrogen between the ages of 50 and 59, suggesting a heart-healthy benefit to taking the therapy, if begun at a younger age.Finally, a study published in the March 5, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported on Women’s Health Initiative participants three years after they stopped combination HRT therapy. The researchers found that “many of the health effects of hormones such as increased risk of heart disease are diminished, but overall risks, including risks of stroke, blood clots, and cancer, remain high.” The study also concluded that the increased risk of breast cancer appears to linger and “other effects of combination hormones, such as decreased risk of colorectal cancer and hip fractures, also stopped when therapy ended.”If you are taking estrogen or combination HRT to reduce your risk of heart disease, talk to your doctor. He or she may recommend other methods of prevention, such as lifestyle changes, and cholesterol- and blood pressure-lowering drugs.