Irregular menstrual cycles may increase the risk of heart disease, atrial fibrillation

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How does menstrual cycle length affect cardiovascular disease risk? Image credit: mrs/Getty Images.
  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.
  • Women are at higher risk of certain types of cardiovascular disease than men.
  • Researchers at the Southern Hospital of the Southern Medical University found that women with irregular menstrual cycles had a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease is leading cause of death in the world. For 2020, 19.1 million All over the world people die from cardiovascular and cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

Cardiovascular disease, more specifically, is also the leading cause of death for women around the world.

A study earlier this year found that women were twice as likely to die from a heart attack as men. And a study published in 2022 found that women: greater risk Women of the same height and build are less likely to develop atrial fibrillation than men.

Now, researchers at the Southern Hospital of Southern Medical University in Guangdong, China, say women with irregular menstrual cycles are also at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

This research recently American Heart Association Journal.

In this study, Dr. Zhang Huijie, Chief Physician and Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Southern Medical University Southern Hospital, and her team analyzed data from more than 58,000 women in the UK Biobank.

Study participants had a mean age of 46 years, had no history of cardiovascular disease, and self-reported information about menstrual cycle length at the beginning of the study period.

During a median follow-up of 12 years, researchers found more than 1,600 cardiovascular events among study participants.

Upon further analysis, the scientists found that participants with menstrual cycles of less than 21 days or more than 35 days had a 19% higher risk of heart disease compared to women with regular menstrual cycles. .

Participants with shorter menstrual cycles had a 29% higher risk of cardiovascular events, while those with longer menstrual cycles had an 11% higher risk.

The researchers also found that study participants with short menstrual cycles had a 38% higher risk of atrial fibrillation. Those with longer menstrual cycles had a 30% higher risk of atrial fibrillation than he did.

“[Cardiovascular disease] Leading cause of morbidity and mortality in women worldwide [and] The results of this study help raise awareness that irregular menstrual cycles can increase heart disease,” said Dr Zhang. medical news today.

“Our study suggested that irregular menstrual cycles were significantly associated with a higher risk of atrial fibrillation, a previously unknown risk factor for atrial fibrillation.” It’s possible,” she added.

The researchers further noted that these increased cardiovascular disease risks were independent of other risk factors, including: smoking, body mass index (BMI), cholesterol leveland history so far high blood pressure again type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Nicole Weinberg, a cardiologist at Providence St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., who was not involved in the study, said after reviewing the study: MNT She found the research provocative and interesting.

“A lot of the overlap between gynecology and cardiology has a lot to do with pregnancy. [with] How Women Cope With Pregnancy—Gestational Diabetes, hypertensive syndrome of pregnancypre-eclampsia,” she explained.

“But this study goes one step further to say, forget what happens when you’re trying to assess the various stressors on the vascular supply and cardiovascular system that come with pregnancy.” Let’s see if the menstrual cycle can tell us about our cardiovascular health before we’re exposed to stressors.”
— Dr. Nicole Weinberg

Dr. Weinberg said he wants to flesh out these findings a bit more to find specific risks for different types of cardiovascular disease.

“And the empty pie will run out even faster than that. Is there a specific thing that women go through before they start menstruating? What is it, and […] Can these things be fixed or looked into earlier to ensure placement? [women] healthier [life] It’s a way to make sure cardiovascular disease doesn’t end up being the leading cause of death,” she added.

Each month, a woman’s body goes through a menstrual cycle characterized by specific stages that prepare it for pregnancy.

A typical menstrual cycle includes:

  • Menstruation when a woman gets her period
  • Follicular phase: Begins at the same time as menstruation and lasts a little longer as new eggs begin to mature.
  • ovulation period when mature eggs are released
  • Luteal phase The stage in which the uterus prepares for the possibility of a fertilized egg.

The luteal phase is also the time when women can experience premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

on average, healthy menstrual cycle The duration is about 28 days, but it varies from 25 to 30 days for different people.

Irregular menstrual cycles (known medically as oligomenorrhea) occur when the cycle lasts less than 24 days or more than 38 days.

Causes of irregular menstrual cycles include:

Long-term irregular menstrual cycles in women can increase the risk of certain disorders, such as: osteoporosisiron deficiency anemia, endometrial hyperplasia.

This isn’t the first study to show an association between irregular menstrual cycles and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have reported that women are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease after menopause. Decreased amount of estrogen in their bodies.

And a 2022 study found that women with irregular menstrual cycles had: 20% more risk Rate of developing heart disease compared to women with normal menstrual cycles.

“Women with disrupted menstrual cycles may have adverse effects on their cardiovascular health,” Dr. Zhang explained. MNT Why she and colleagues decided to study the correlation between menstrual cycle length and risk of cardiovascular disease.

“However, it is unclear whether the menstrual cycle is associated with cardiovascular disease or subsequent cardiovascular events in the future,” she noted.

MNT We also spoke with Dr. G. Thomas Lewis, director of obstetrics and gynecology at Memorial Care Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, who was not involved in the study.

These findings are not surprising, she said, as PCOS is the leading cause of irregular menstrual cycles.

“This is a multifaceted disease, and patients experience: hyperinsulinemia [or] I’m insulin insensitive,” explained Dr. Lewis.

“[Individuals with PCOS] Free testosterone levels may rise. They are at increased risk of her adult-onset type 2 diabetes. And all of these disorders are associated with dyslipidemia, which is associated with all possible complications in people with diabetes,” he noted.

Lewis said it’s important for doctors to discuss the menstrual cycle because most women don’t realize how much an irregular menstrual cycle can affect their overall health. .

“We have to talk about it [with a doctor] Because most of the time it actually needs to be treated,” he continued. “People who have irregular menstruation and who fit the PCOS profile also have increased endometrial hyperplasia. increases the risk of

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