Fri, Aug 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Post-menopausal women prone to heart diseases

RISKS:Women who have reached menopause are 57 percent more likely to develop cardiovascular problems than those who have not, a local report said

By Wei Yi-chia and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Post-menopausal women are more than twice as likely as their younger counterparts to develop cardiovascular diseases, a Taipei-based healthcare center said.

The Cathay Healthcare Management reached the conclusion after analyzing approximately 27,000 women who underwent a physical examination at the facility’s Neihu and Dunhua branches over the past two years.

The analysis report showed that while about 36 percent of the women were found to have some form of cardiovascular abnormality, those who have reached menopause are 57 percent more likely to develop such problems than those who have not, Neihu Branch superintendent Lee Tsung-yu (李宗諭) said.

“The average age of menopause among women in Taiwan is 50, but since we have encountered cases of women entering menopause at the age of 44 or 45, we decided to conduct the analysis based on the presumption that all women aged 46 years and older are post-menopausal,” Lee said.

The report also found that post-menopausal women are 25 percent more prone to exhibiting an abnormal exercise electrocardiogram than non-menopausal women, Lee said.

Women should start taking care of their health when they are still young and before menopause, Lee said, especially female office workers aged 30 years and above who dine out frequently, do not exercise, do not get enough sleep and are struggling to strike a balance between work and family.

Lee also urged young women to have a physical checkup at least once a year.

Wang Ying-ti (王盈堤), a nutritionist at the Neihu branch, said women should increase their intake of kiwi fruit, edible black tree fungus and tomatoes to strengthen their cardiovascular systems.

“Taking tomatoes as an example, they contain abundant lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the amount of cholesterol in blood,” Wang said.

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