Avoid Smoking to Ward off Stroke Risks During Menopause: Study
Quitting smoking during the transition phase to menopause could be the key to ward off risks of cardiovascular diseases including heart attacks and strokes, suggests a new study.
The risk factor most associated with unhealthy arteries was smoking tobacco, said the study published in the journal American Heart Association.
The study found that physical activity and a healthy diet may offset the acceleration of atherosclerosis - build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on the artery walls.
According to Ana Baylin, Associate Professor from the University of Michigan in the US,
Midlife is a crucial window for women to take their cardiovascular wellness to heart and set a course for healthy ageing. The metabolic changes that often occur with menopause, especially increases in cholesterol levels and blood pressure, can significantly increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cognitive impairment later in life.
For the study, the team enrolled 1,143 women aged 42 to 52 in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN).
The findings showed that those with a healthy lifestyle had significantly wider arteries, less arterial thickening and build-up of fatty plaque.
The results suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle - combined with physical activity, proper eating habits and no tobacco use - is particularly important for women during the transition phase to menopause.
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