GPs reminded to consider CVD link to menopause

Cardiovascular risk factors should be discussed alongside new symptoms for women at the onset of the menopause, gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Heather Currie warns in this week's GP.

Dr Currie, associate specialist gynaecologist and obstetrician at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, says GPs discussing menopausal symptoms with patients should also think long term and consider risk factors for bone and heart health.

'CVD is by far the greatest cause of death in women who have undergone the menopause, yet there is still a low level of awareness among women and healthcare professionals,' she writes.

The WHO has estimated that 80 per cent of CVD can be prevented by diet and lifestyle changes, Dr Currie adds.

More women die from heart disease and stroke than the next five causes of death combined, including breast cancer.

'The changes that occur at menopause lead to increased risk of CVD, so any discussion with patients about the menopause should include assessment of risk factors for long- term health problems, in particular osteoporosis and CVD,' Dr Currie writes.

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