• Why do women experience a steep increase in heart attacks with the onset of menopause?

    Posted September 20, 2015: by Bill Sardi

    Why do women experience a steep increase in heart attacks with the onset of menopause?  The obvious answer, without checking the science, is the decline in estrogen production has something to do with the dramatic increase in strokes and heart attacks among post-menopausal women.

    Despite the obvious benefits of estrogen replacement, the American Heart Association does not recommend postmenopausal hormone therapy to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease or stroke because some studies have failed to show a reduced risk.  A spokesperson for the AHA says: “Estrogen decline isn’t the only reason women face a higher cardiovascular disease risk after reaching menopause. We’re trying to figure the rest of it out.” [American Heart Assn]

    The “rest of it” is already in plain view.

    A report at WebMD says the higher risk for heart disease after menopause is characterized by “changes in the walls of the blood vessels, making it more likely for plaque and blood clots to form.”  [WebMD]

    It was Matthias Rath and Linus Pauling in 1990 who linked heart attacks to a sticky form of cholesterol called lipoprotein(a) that induces blood clots in the coronary arteries that feed oxygen to the heart.  [Proceedings National Academy Science Aug 1990]

    It is no secret that the natural decline in estrogen production, beginning around age 54, results in a rise in lipoprotein(a). [Journal American College Cardiology July 2008; Journal American Medical Assn. April 12, 2000]

    Hormone replacement therapy has been documented to reduce lipoprotein(a) levels by 19.9%, 23.0%, 20%, 31%, 28% and13% in various studies.  [Hormone Metabolism Research Sept 2006; Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis Vascular Biology Sept 1997; Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis Feb 1994; Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis Vascular Biology Oct 1996; Obstetrics Gynecology Dec 1996; Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism Nov 1997]

    DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone), a precursor to estrogen and progesterone, available as a dietary supplement, has been shown to reduce lipoprotein(a) levels by 18.1% and may serve as a substitute for hormone replacement. [Journal Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism Nov 1999]

    Vitamin C is posed as the antidote to heart attacks caused by elevated lipoprotein(a) levels. [Knowledge of Health]

    Additionally, the decline in estrogen production with the onset of menopause also increases the loss of calcium from bone and calcium deposition in arteries. [Menopause Sept 2010]  There is no association between changes in bone mineral density and calcification of coronary arteries in males. [Atherosclerosis July 2015]

    Estrogen deficiency increases arterial calcification whereas hormone replacement therapy decreases calcification in coronary arteries. [Atherosclerosis Dec 1979; Women Health 2012]  Hormone replacement was found to inhibit the progression of calcification in women of coronary arteries by 35% in one study. [Journal Womens Health June 2005]

    One study shows that men who use supplemental testosterone decrease their lipoprotein(a) level by 37%. [American Journal Cardiology June 1996]  — ©2015 Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

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