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Study Suggests Menopausal Changes to Female Heart Happen Earlier Than Thought

Doctor using a stethoscope to listen to patient's heart (IStock Credit:dusanpetkovic)It’s known the female heart changes after menopause, but a new University of Guelph study is the first to reveal hidden changes that are happening during perimenopause – the stage before menopause sets in.

These small, underappreciated changes have potential implications for protecting women’s hearts by introducing the use of hormone replacement therapy earlier.

“We found the window of opportunity for using the therapy likely begins much earlier than previously believed,” said Ontario Veterinary College Biomedical Sciences Prof. Glen Pyle, senior author of the study.

The research received coverage in MedicalNewsToday.com. 

It’s long been known that young women have a lower risk of heart disease than men, but that risk rises substantially after a woman’s estrogen levels drop with menopause. However, little was known about what happens to the heart during perimenopause — the years leading up to menopause when hormone changes begin.

Read the entire article on the University of Guelph website.

(Photo credit: IStock credit: dusanpetkovic)