Medically reviewed by Dr. Kimberly Langdon Cull, M.D. on July 25, 2023
Compared to women without menopausal symptoms, women experiencing vasomotor or non-vasomotor symptoms during the perimenopausal stage tend to have a significantly higher prevalence of poor cardiovascular health metrics.
The ideal cardiovascular health (CVH) metrics established by the American Heart Association include diet, cholesterol levels, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, physical activity, fasting glucose, and blood pressure. Menopause is considered a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease among middle-aged women, which may be associated with endogenous estrogen withdrawal. This cohort study published in the journal Menopause investigated the association between menopause symptoms and CVH metrics in women during perimenopause.
Study Population and Characteristics
There were a total of 4611 study participants with a mean age of 44.86 ± 2.46 years and a mean baseline menopause-specific quality of life (MENQOL) score of 1.50 ± 1.08. Greater severity of overall menopausal symptoms was associated with a significant increase in the proportions of current smokers, poor CVH metrics, and a high level of education in the study population.
Bothersome Menopause Symptoms in the Study Population
The most prevalent menopause symptoms in the vasomotor domain included sweating (22.3%) and hot flashes (18.8%). The most prevalent symptom in the psychosocial domain was poor memory (71.9%). In the physical domain, feeling tired (78.0%) was the most common symptom whereas in the sexual domain, avoidance of intimacy (45.6%) and vaginal dryness during intercourse (47.1%) were the most common symptoms.
Prevalence Ratios of Cardiovascular Health Metrics
Compared to women without menopause symptoms, the prevalence ratios (PRs) of intermediate CVH metrics in the physical, vasomotor, and psychosocial domains in women experiencing the most bothersome menopause symptoms were 1.72, 1.63, and 1.25, respectively. PRs associated with poor CVH metrics in perimenopausal women experiencing menopausal symptoms were 2.90, 2.07, 3.01, and 1.66 for vasomotor, psychosocial, physical, and sexual domains, respectively. The highest association of poor CVH metrics was observed in the vasomotor domain. The mean scores of all MENQOL domains were negatively and significantly related to ideal CVH metrics scores.
This study concluded that poor CVH metrics are observed in premenopausal women experiencing menopause symptoms compared to women who do not experience such symptoms.
Choi, H. R., Chang, Y., Kim, Y., Cho, Y., Kwon, M., Kang, J., Kwon, R., Lim, G., Kim, K., Kim, H., Hong, Y. S., Park, J., Zhao, D., Cho, J., Guallar, E., Park, H., & Ryu, S. (2023). Vasomotor and other menopause symptoms and the prevalence of ideal cardiovascular health metrics among premenopausal stage women. Menopause, Publish Ahead of Print. https://doi.org/10.1097/gme.0000000000002203