Q: How will menopause affect risk for heart disease in women?

A: While it is true that women are somewhat more protected against heart disease than men, once menopause is reached, some of that protection wanes. As hormonal levels change during menopause and estrogens decrease, it has been theorized that the protection was afforded to women also drops. Of course, heart disease, despite this protection, still is the number one killer of women in the US. As such, maintaining a healthy weight, fitness level, cholesterol, and eating a less processed, more plant based diet may help to reduce that risk.

  Andrew M. Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP