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New research identifies modifiable risk factors for heart disease
Date:12/11/2009

Emerging research on cardiovascular risk factors and treatment effects are helping clinicians gain a better understanding of which patients are most likely to benefit from close monitoring, lifestyle changes and/or additional therapeutic interventions. New findings published in the December 15/22, 2009, Prevention and Outcomes Focus Issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology aim to disentangle the influence of menopause versus chronological aging in upping women's post-menopausal risk for heart disease, evaluate the role of smoking status, physical activity and diet-induced weight loss in certain patient populations, and more fully describe the effects of intensive lipid-lowering therapy on subsequent cardiovascular events.

Highlights from select studies published in the current issue of JACC find:

Menopause Linked to Harmful Changes in Blood Cholesterol, But Not Other Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Whether the jump in heart disease risk among post-menopausal women is a function of aging or a consequence of the menopausal transition and the associated loss of endogenous estrogen, or both, has been hotly debated. A new study extensively followed 1,054 initially pre-menopausal or early peri-menopausal women of diverse ethnicities to assess changes in a wide variety of cardiovascular risk factors in relation to a women's final menstrual period. It is the first study to specifically identify the year immediately around the final menstrual period as the time of most adverse changes in the lipid profile of all women, according to authors.

Only total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) and its protein carrier (apoB) increased substantially around the time of a woman's final menstrual period, consistent with menopause-induced changes. These unique increaseswhich were independent of age and other cofoundersoccurred in women of all weight levels and were similar acro
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Contact: Amanda Jekowsky
ajekowsk@acc.org
202-375-6645
American College of Cardiology
Source:Eurekalert

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