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The 18th October is world menopause day

The International Menopause Society is marking the day by publishing a report encouraging women to “have a health audit – and take action at the time of the menopause to avoid chronic diseases in later life.”

Press release from the International Menopause Society:

Doctors call for women to take action at menopause, to prevent health problems in later life

Actions taken at the time of the menopause can avoid chronic diseases in later life, according to a report on women’s health marking International Menopause Day (18th October).

Around one third of a woman’s life is lived after the menopause. The age of the natural menopause among women in developed countries is between 50 and 52 years, whereas, in less developed countries, menopause often occurs in the late ’40s. In the decade after the menopause, women become vulnerable to chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cognitive decline (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease), and cancer; so the early postmenopause years provide the opportunity for women to take preventative steps to steer a positive course for their future health.

For all women, the report of the International Menopause Society stresses the need to consider; lifestyle measures (healthy diet and physical activity) prevention of weight gain being involved in mentally stimulating activities

Lead author Dr Roger Lobo said:

“The main message we want to put forward is that, at the menopause, women have a chance to take steps which will help determine whether they go on to live a healthy and active life. There are some conditions, for example osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, which are clearly directly associated with the menopause, whereas others are more associated with increasing age. Menopause provides women with an opportunity to review their health and lifestyle and to make changes which will benefit their future wellbeing”.

“Many of the measures a woman can take are simple, but effective”, he continued. “Do a little more exercise, eat a little less, if you consume alcohol, do so in moderation”.

The report emphasises that, in consultation with their clinician, women should undergo regular health checks for chronic conditions including cancer and heart disease. The report also considers which pharmaceuticals can benefit women going through the menopause. Heart disease kills more women than any other condition. Starting the use of estrogen and certain types of MHT (Menopausal Hormone Therapy, also known as Hormone Replacement Therapy) within 10 years of the menopause, or under the age of 60, has been shown to reduce the incidence of heart disease and all-cause mortality (this probably does not apply to starting MHT later in life).

As lead author, Dr Roger Lobo said;

“Various studies have confirmed that estrogen and certain types of MHT are beneficial if started soon after the menopause. Interestingly, data is emerging that some medications commonly used to prevent coronary heart disease, such as statins and aspirin, work well in men but not in women – most of the trials have mainly involved men. So MHT may be the best treatment to help fend off coronary artery disease in women. Of note, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women. A consensus has developed that, in the right population, the benefits of MHT outweigh the risks. For women who have had a hysterectomy – around one third of women in developed countries -the effects of MHT are mostly positive. For the rest of menopausal women – that is women who are within 10 years of the menopause, or under the age of 60 and who have not had a hysterectomy – the risks are generally few in comparison to the future health benefits.

IMS President Rod Baber said

“The main message is that women should use the menopause as a reason to have a “health audit”, so that they can have an active say in how they are going to live the rest of their lives. The concerns regarding MHT have become more tempered over the last decade. The consensus is that it helps most women both with menopausal symptoms, and with their future health, but needs to be targeted. In many ways, it is similar to the debate which is currently going on about breast cancer screening, which also benefits most, but not all women. You need to see your doctor and decide what’s right for you. Like all medicine, really”.

The full paper on which this press release is based is published in the October issue of the peer reviewed journal Climacteric:

Prevention of diseases after menopause, Lobo RA, Davis SR, De Villiers TJ, et al. Prevention of diseases after menopause. Climacteric 2014;17:540-56

About the International Menopause Society

The Mission Statement of the IMS is to promote and advance communication, education and research of all aspects of the health of adult women, worldwide, http://www.imsociety.org/.

The next World Congress on the Menopause takes place in Prague, Czech Republic, from 28 September to 1 October 2016, http://www.imsociety.org/world_congress.php

2015-06-30T09:29:13+00:00 18 October 2014|

4 Comments

  1. Shaikh Zinnat Ara nasreen,MBBS, FCPS, frcog 5 September 2015 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Excellent, it helped lot and breaks the fear and misconception regarding MRT.
    Thanks for such wonderful comments.

  2. Suzi Grant 21 October 2016 at 9:28 am - Reply

    I nearly missed this important day but fortunately was broadcasting on the radio that day. Can anyone please point me in the direction of a reliable NATIONAL DAY CALENDAR? Would be very grateful. I write a blog that includes a very helpful piece on eating your way through the menopause. Hope it is of interest. goo.gl/JDai5jcontent_copyCopy short URL

  3. Moll 18 October 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    Why do GPs only prescribe one size fits all HRT? Why are they not more clued up about biodentical hormones? A blood test through the GP practice will only tell a woman if she is menopausal. It cost a fortune to have a private blood test that will tell you if you are estrogen or progesterone dominant. One of the first question you are asked in a breast cancer clinic is, Are you taking HRT? So clearly there is still a train of thought that HRT is still a precursor for breast cancer. Most doctors don’t know the benefits of estriol. Even though there are lots of scientific reports. Very frustrating.

  4. Molly 18 October 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

    I am also extremely confused about this as I have read many many studies over the past four years that indicate that HRT will increase chance of heart attack and stroke!!
    I have been using bioidentical natural progesterone for 4 years with awesome results especially in bone mineral density building!
    I wish there weren’t so many contradictory reports out there about HRT so ladies don’t have to be so confused during menopause … we have enough to deal with trying to control the 34 symptoms of menopause!

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