Black women have a greater risk for heart disease than white women. Some of the reasons for this are that more black women are obese, have high blood pressure and diabetes. One additional factor that has changed with recent research, however, is that heart disease among women is also greater before menopause, not after menopause, as was originally believed.
The menopause factor
A national study that focused on women going through menopause took 10 years to complete. The results showed that high cholesterol and high blood pressure levels, both risk factors for heart disease, increase before a woman goes through menopause, not after. In addition, the rate at which these factors increase are faster and occur sooner among black women.
When the risk factors are highest
According to the study, the risk factors were highest during the last years of premenopause and during the perimenopause transition, right before menopause. After menopause, the risk factors began to go down. Black women had greater results than white women in the slowing down of risk factors after menopause.
The study really changed how medical professionals look at the relationship between heart disease and menopause. The results also clearly pointed to the importance of weight control, healthy diet and exercise before menopause in reducing the risk of heart disease.