The Good & Bad News About Heart Health for Women


As the pace of health research continues to intensify each year, we’re learning new things about risk factors and preventive care. Women’s heart health is one field in which studies are revealing some interesting—and cautionary—findings.

Early Menopause and the Heart

There’s a definitive link between heart disease and menopause. For reasons that medical science is still trying to pinpoint, the risk for heart disease increases significantly in women after menopause. And for women who experience premature menopause (before age 45) that risk is even more pronounced, with their chances for developing heart disease 50 percent greater than women who enter menopause at a later stage. Although these findings aren’t exactly uplifting, the good news is that women who go into early menopause can be treated proactively to protect their heart health.

How Stress Affects the Heart

A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reveals that psychological stress can negatively impact heart function in women who already have underlying heart disease. Stress can damage the heart and interfere with circulation, which highlights the importance of stress management and relaxation techniques. Tending to your emotional wellbeing can very well translate into supporting heart health.

Heart disease is the number one killer for women in the United States, so understanding the risk factors can really mean the difference between life and death.

Sex, Pleasure and Women’s Heart Health

Men aged 57 and up are at an increased risk for heart disease when sex enters the equation, but the same isn’t true for women. In fact, older women can benefit from sexual intimacy, and there’s more than a chance that good sex can protect women from cardiovascular conditions.