Fast Five Quiz: Menopause

Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG


June 24, 2022

The decline in estrogen that occurs during menopause increases the risk for cardiovascular disease. One such effect is dysregulation of lipids; low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels may increase up to 15% during the menopause transition. In addition, studies have shown that alterations in hormones during menopause are associated with adverse changes in body fat distribution, blood pressure, lipoproteins, and glucose metabolism, increasing the risk for metabolic syndrome. According to a 2019 study, women who went through menopause before the age of 45 years had a 50% increased risk for coronary artery disease, highlighting the protective cardiovascular benefit of estrogen.

Menopause does not cause breast cancer, but as women get older, the risk for breast cancer increases, per Surakasula and colleagues. However, women who start menopause after the age of 55 years have an increased risk for breast cancer. This is likely owing to the longer duration of estrogen exposure.

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