Menopause, when a woman has not had menstruation for 12 months, is a normal part of aging and occurs on average at the age of 51. The study did not determine why cardiovascular problems were more common among women who experienced menopause before the age of 50, but noted that the decline in estrogen levels that accompany menopause may play a role in this. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States and represents 1 in 5 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the American Heart Association points out that menopause does not cause cardiovascular disease. Rather, he says, at this stage in a woman's life, certain risk factors increase: blood pressure tends to rise, as do LDL cholesterol ("bad") levels and triglycerides. Other vital factors that are not healthy for the heart ̵
1; such as smoking, too little exercise and being overweight – can also contribute. Bottom line for women reaching menopause? Health experts suggest focusing on what you can control – these risk factors – to keep your cardiovascular disease in check.