Heart disease describes a range of conditions that affect your heart. Today it seems about everything has been shown to lead to heart disease. Heart disease is a leading cause of death in women.
Of course smoking is bad for you, as is high blood pressure. There's even mounting evidence that psychosocial factors can cause heart problems. A new study demonstrates how traumatic experiences can affect vascular health and, ultimately, heart disease. The study results will be presented during The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, October 11-14.
According to the American Heart Association, every minute in the US someone's mother, wife, daughter, or sister dies from a form a heart disease. To date, little research has been done to study the impact of traumatic experiences on vascular health as a precursor to heart disease. Even less work has focused on this relationship during the menopause transition when the risk of heart disease is naturally increasing, along with deteriorating endothelial function. (The endothelium is the inner lining of the heart and blood vessels.)
"These findings underscore the importance of psychosocial factors, such as trauma exposure, in the development of heart disease risk in midlife women," says Dr. Rebecca Thurston, lead author of the study from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine.
"Given the large percentage of postmenopausal women affected by heart disease, this is an important study that should remind healthcare providers of the need to thoroughly discuss a woman's history beyond simply asking about her physical health," says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director."