Women’s Heart Health
World Menopause Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness of all aspects of aging in women. In conjunction with this year’s World Congress theme, the focus of World Menopause Day is to educate the public on women’s heart health issues and encourage women and their physicians to discuss the risks for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Some Notable Facts about Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in Women
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death for women in the western world. It not only costs millions of lives, but makes an enormous economic impact as well. According to a report published in Womens Health Issues in 2003, the total lifetime medical costs (i.e., sum of incremental and baseline lifetime medical costs) of treating a woman with CVD are 3.4 times greater than the costs of a woman without CVD.1 It is said to be one of the most costly diseases and creates a major economic burden on health care systems.2
As with any serious disease, detecting CVD early saves lives. In an important review of literature published in Climacteric this year, reviewers concluded that physicians need to engage in more intensive CVD risk assessment and management of women at all times, but particularly in midlife.3 (To help you in evaluating your own CVD risk, go to http://www.heartage.me/)
The Estradiol/Cardiovascular Disease Connection
CVD risk factors are affected by many things, but hormonal status is of particular concern. Women who are hormonally deficient, as they are in the years leading up to and after menopause, are at a higher risk than they were in younger years.
This greater cardiovascular risk has been scientifically linked to an increasingly short supply of estrogen (i.e. estradiol) as a woman ages. Estradiol affects almost every organ system or tissue in the body, including the blood vessels and heart. This vital hormone has been shown to play a cardio-protective role, among others. It increases HDL and lowers LDL cholesterol; increases blood flow by relaxing, smoothing and dilating blood vessels; and also absorbs free radicals in the blood stream that can damage arteries and other tissues. Thus, when estradiol diminishes during the aging process, so does cardiovascular protection.
HRT and Cardiovascular Disease
Since estradiol deficiency increases the risk for developing CVD, doesn’t it make sense to restore this hormone to beneficial levels with HRT?
Yes, it does make sense. But not every HRT method provides positive benefits to cardiovascular health. The type of hormones used, as well as the hormone delivery system employed, makes a big difference.
Two very large studies found that treatments based on pharmaceutical versions of estrogen and progesterone, such as those found in Premarin and PremPro, seriously increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots.4,5 In contrast, ample scientific evidence shows that bioidentical hormone replacement can go well beyond the usual symptom treatment to support many aspects of health and overall well-being.6 When properly administered, BHRT can make a beneficial impact on CVD risk, particularly in women ages 50 – 59 who do not already have cardiovascular disease.7 For women seeking the therapeutic effects of human hormones, BHRT using the pellet delivery method comes closest to the way the body works, delivering physiologic doses of hormone around-the-clock for months at a time.
Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy Is the Healthy Choice
If you are a woman experiencing hormone deficiency, the earlier you address it with proper BHRT, the greater the health benefits. It is vitally important to seek out an expert who understands both the pellet implant method and the significance of restoring hormonal balance.
This is precisely what we have been doing at SottoPelle® for decades. Our proprietary BHRT pellet method has helped thousands of patients regain beneficial hormone levels and the quality of life they once knew. In fact, we are honored to say that according to Ranking Arizona, an annual consumer publication by AZ Big Media, our patients have voted us Arizona’s #1 Hormone Therapy Clinic in 2016.
For more information on SottoPelle®, check out our website at www.sottopelletherapy.com or give us a call at (877) 473-5538 to schedule a consultation. We would love to help you as we have so many others.
1Birnbaum H, Leong S, Kabra A. Lifetime medical costs for women: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stress urinary incontinence. Womens Health Issues 2003, Nov-Dec, 13(6):204-13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14675789
2 Tarride, JE, Lim M, DesMeules M, Luo W, Burke N, O’Reilly D, Bowen J, Goeree R. A review of the cost of cardiovascular disease Can J Cardiol. 2009 Jun; 25(6): e195–e202. Can J Cardiol. 2009 Jun; 25(6): e195–e202. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2722492/
3 P. Collins, C. M. Webb, T. J. de Villiers, J. C. Stevenson, N. Panay & R. J. Baber (2016) Cardiovascular risk assessment in women – an update, Climacteric, 19:4, 329-336, DOI: 10.1080/13697137.2016.1198574. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13697137.2016.1198574
6 Schwartz E, Holtorf K. Hormones in wellness and disease prevention: common practices, current state of the evidence, and questions for the future. Prim Care Clin Office Pract 2008; 35 (4): 669–705. http://www.holtorfmed.com/pdf/04-Hormones-in-Wellness.pdf
7 Bechlioulis A, Naka KK, Papanikolaou O, Kontostolis E, Kalantaridou SN, Michalis LK. Menopause and Hormone Therapy: From Vascular Endothelial Function to Cardiovascular Disease Hellenic J Cardiol 2009; 50: 303-315.