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Menopausal status and ethnicity impact stroke risk factors

Posted Mar 05 2010 3:25am


This is an abstract from a research study we conducted and presented at the International Stroke Conference in San Antonio Texas last month. 

Menopausal status and ethnicity influence the incidence of modifiable stroke risk factors, according to a new study.
Researchers examined the presence of modifiable risk factors in 2,259 women categorized by ethnicity and menopausal status, diagnosed cholesterol disorders, hypertension and metabolic syndrome.
In the study • 60 percent of the women were post-menopausal (57 percent Caucasian, 25 percent African American and 14 percent Hispanic).
• 30 percent were pre-menopausal (34 percent Caucasian, 22 percent African American and 38 percent Hispanic).
• 9 percent were peri-menopausal.

Significant increases in the incidence of hypertension and cholesterol disorders occurred in all ethnic groups, while African Americans and Hispanics also had significantly higher incidences of metabolic syndrome, high triglycerides and diabetes. Caucasian women had increases in metabolic syndrome and cholesterol disorders between peri- and post-menopause. Stroke risk scores were consistently higher in African-American women across all menopausal stages.

Risk factors were high in the 3 percent who experienced premature menopause: 45 percent for hypertension; 45 percent for metabolic syndrome; 42 percent for cholesterol disorders and 92 percent for overweight.
The high incidence of stroke risk factors in women with premature menopause indicates age of menopause onset is not significant, the scientists said.

“Ideally, healthcare providers should evaluate for stroke risk factors when women are pre-menopausal and closely monitor them as they progress through menopause,” the investigators said. “Early risk factor identification and patient education can empower women who take control and reduce their risk for stroke.”

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