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October 18th is International Menopause Day!

To raise awareness about the symptoms and changes associated with menopause, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Menopause Society have declared October as World Menopause Month and October 18th as Menopause Day. This year’s focus is on the relationship between menopause and cardiovascular diseases.

Bild Menopause
Menopause is a significant stage in a woman’s life marked by hormonal changes. Currently, around 9 million women in Germany are going through menopause, and by 2025, approximately 12 percent of the world’s population, about one billion women, will be in this phase.

Hormonal changes associated with menopause begin long before menopause itself, which typically occurs around the age of 51. The symptoms related to menopause do not only appear during this period but can persist for many years afterward. There are over 34 known symptoms, including hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood swings, joint pain, and hair loss.

The Most Common Menopause Symptoms

  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Sleep disturbances: difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, racing thoughts
  • Mood swings
  • Weight changes
  • Irritability
  • Hot flashes
  • “Brain fog”: concentration problems, word-finding difficulties, lack of focus
  • Loss of libido: reduced interest in sex
  • Joint pain
  • Changes in skin, hair, and nails

Today, it is also known that the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases after menopause. Therefore, this year’s “Menopause Day” focuses on the connection with heart health. Heart palpitations, arrhythmias, and rapid heartbeats can often occur during menopause, sometimes unexpectedly during work, shopping, or even during rest at night. Heart problems mainly occur during the perimenopause and early postmenopause stages.

Before menopause, women are less likely to suffer from cardiovascular issues compared to men. This lower frequency of cardiovascular diseases is attributed to the protective effect of estrogen. However, during menopause, this protection diminishes due to the decrease in estrogen levels, increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Important to know: Women's hearts beat differently!

Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 35% of female deaths worldwide, making them the most common cause of death among women by far. However, they are often recognized and treated too late because the symptoms of cardiovascular diseases in women are often different from those in men. Additionally, the risk factors for women and men differ significantly.

The percentage of women included in clinical studies conducted between 2010 and 2017 was less than 39%. This significant knowledge gap greatly limits the potential for tailored treatments for cardiovascular diseases in women. According to an article published in “The Lancet,” cardiovascular diseases in women are still not sufficiently researched, recognized, diagnosed, and treated.

Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Diseases in Women

Gender equality in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases can only be achieved by expanding awareness of the unique risk factors affecting women, in addition to the traditional risk factors that predominantly apply to men. Some of these risk factors include pregnancy complications, autoimmune diseases, depression, breast cancer, and breast artery calcification.

Furthermore, smoking and obesity pose a much higher risk for cardiovascular diseases in women compared to men.

80% of women under the age of 75 have arterial hypertension, but only 29% receive adequate therapy. Diabetic women have a 45% higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than men. Obesity in women leads to a 64% higher risk, while in men, the same risk factor only results in a 46% increase.

Considering all of these differences will make a significant difference and enable more timely and targeted treatment of cardiovascular diseases in women.

At Lanserhof, we offer tailored therapies for women:

With our comprehensive diagnostic and therapy options in our Hormone Package at Lanserhof Sylt, we identify the cause of hormonal imbalances and guide you toward improved well-being. Our therapy is based on dietary and lifestyle changes.

Our Lanserhof Cardio Check-up Package initially focuses on preventing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, which are by far the most common causes of death. Through a personalized training and nutrition program, we show you how to significantly reduce your risk without the need for medication. This package can also be expanded with all other recommended preventive examinations by medical societies if needed. In just 4 days, you’ll receive a comprehensive preventive medicine diagnostic without the need to coordinate multiple appointments with different doctors.