According to a new study based on the data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, menopause increases the risk of metabolic syndrome or some of its components, including hypertension, central obesity, and high blood sugar.
Understanding what causes metabolic syndrome is important because this condition increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, two of the leading causes of death in women.
Prior studies have suggested that the link between the onset of menopause and the development of metabolic syndrome, independent of aging.
This study analyzed data from more than 10,000 women aged 45 to 85 years who participated in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging and found a positive association between menopause and an increased risk of metabolic syndrome.
The good news, however, is that lifestyle interventions targeted at women with metabolic syndrome have proven effective in preventing type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular risk. Age at menopause and hormone therapy use has also been identified as possible modifiers of this relationship, although additional studies are required to quantify their effect better.
Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director, said, “These results reaffirm the previously identified link between menopause and metabolic syndrome. Given the increased cardiovascular risk associated with metabolic syndrome and that heart disease remains the number one killer of women, this study highlights the importance of cardiovascular risk assessment and risk reduction strategies in midlife women.”
Study results appear in the article “The effect of menopause on the metabolic syndrome: cross-sectional results from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging.”