A woman is more likely to suffer from cardiovascular pathologies if her periods have come early, if she has had her first child at a young age or has given birth to several babies.
- The researchers used a statistical technique to establish a link between genes that predict reproductive factors and the risk of cardiovascular disease in more than 100,000 women.
- An earlier first birth, a higher number of deliveries, early periods were linked to a higher cardiovascular risk.
- Physicians should “closely monitor reproductive factors in women and intervene if necessary.”
Smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption… These various factors increase cardiovascular risk. Recently, researchers from Imperial College London (UK) revealed that reproductive factors in women also increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular conditions, which result from the deposition of fat on the walls of the arteries.
Three reproductive factors studied in women
In order to reach this conclusion, they carried out a study, the results of which were published in the journal Journal of the American Heart Association. For the purposes of the work, the scientists analyzed research on more than 100,000 women. In detail, they examined genetic data specific to the women’s age at the time of their first childbirth, their number of births, the age of their first period and the age of their menopause. The team considered five cardiovascular conditions: atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, heart failure, ischemic stroke, and stroke.
The risk of cardiovascular diseases can be reduced if the BMI is well controlled
Using a statistical technique, the authors were able to show a link between genes that predict reproductive factors and the risk of several cardiovascular diseases. According to the results, an earlier first birth, a higher number of deliveries, or even early periods were associated with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation, coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke. in patients.
According to the team, much of the increased risk of early periods resulted from the fact that this factor was linked to a higher body mass index (BMI) in women. This means that reducing BMI could help reduce this risk. “These findings underscore the need for physicians to closely monitor reproductive factors in women and intervene if necessary,” said Maddalena Ardissino, lead author of the study, in a statement.
“Questions about periods and pregnancy must be systematic” during consultations
“The misconception that cardiovascular disease primarily affects men is costing women their health and even their lives. It is essential that they know what can put them at increased risk of developing heart disease or stroke in the future. This includes the well-known risks that affect everyone – but for women there may be additional risk factors from their reproductive years to add to the list. If we are to save a woman’s life. ‘more women, questions about menstruation and pregnancy should be routine when assessing each woman’s risk of heart disease and stroke’, said Sonya Babu-Narayan, cardiologist and director of the British Heart Foundation.
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