Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women in developed countries. But for women, the risk related to cardiovascular disease rises significantly and quickly with the onset of menopause.
A person’s lipid profile- which includes total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL), triglyceride levels, and fasting glucose levels- is a good measure of a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately for middle aged women, the study authors state that “[a]n accumulating body of literature shows that menopause is associated with unfavorable changes in lipid metabolism leading to an increased likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome and CVD.” Researchers in Finland set out to observe what effect leisure time activities had on cardiovascular risk factors in menopausal women.
Their research found a link between higher levels of leisure time activity (meaning not work, housework, or transport) and lower total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol, fasting glucose levels, and triglycerides, as well as improvement in HDL cholesterol levels. While the authors note that the leisure time activities did not entirely offset the negative effects of menopause on women’s cardiovascular risk, they did seem to help.
Sports related hobbies or leisure time physical activities don’t have to be working out or going to the gym. Many women take pleasure in activities such as:
- Paddle boarding
If you are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease, have high cholesterol, or have high fasting glucose levels, you should see your doctor. For people who are at risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes who are also obese, consider scheduling a free informational session with Dr. Shillingford, MD, PA to learn more about if gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery is right for you. Call Dr. Shillingford’s Boca Raton office today at (561) 483-8840 and take the first step toward improving your health.