Lifestyle and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among Women

Lifestyle and cardiovascular disease is important to post-menopausal women. Following menopause, cardiovascular disease and resulting death increase greatly.

I. The Disease


I.   The Disease

II.  Lifestyle

III. The Study

IV.  Resources

Cardiovascular disease involves diseases of the heart and blood vessels. It includes heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmia, valve problems and stroke.

It is the number cause of death for both men and women.  Cardiovascular disease causes more deaths than cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and accidents combined.

We can’t control our birth gender, age, or race. These and many other things influence our risk of developing or dying from cardiovascular disease. But lifestyle and cardiovascular disease are connected. And we can control important lifestyle factors.

II. Lifestyle and Cardiovascular Disease

What lifestyle factors increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and death in women after menopause?

Not smoking, being physically active, maintaining proper weight, and drinking in moderation all reduce risk of CVD and death. However, the role each plays in reducing these risks among post-menopausal and older women is unclear.

It’s important that these are all behaviors over which we, as individuals, have control. Thus, we can all have better health and longer lives.

III. The Study

To learn more, researchers made a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. They analyzed 59 studies that involved 5,358,902 women.

lifestyle and cardiovascularNot smoking was the single most important way to reduce the risk of CVD, CVD mortality, and all-cause mortality.

Maintaining proper weight (body mass index or BMI) was also important in reducing those risks. Drinking alcohol in moderation greatly reduced risk as did being physically active.

These findings from over five million post-menopausal women are consistent with research on other populations.

Study reported. Colpani, V., et al. Lifestyle factors and cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality in middle-aged and elderly women: a systematic review and metaanalysis. Euro J Epidem, 2018.

IV. Resources on Lifestyle and Cardiovascular Disease

Alcohol and Cardiovascular Disease: Moderate Drinking is Protective.  

Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health (How Much to Drink for Good Health and Long Life). 

Bassuk, S. and Manson, J. Preventing Cardiovascular Disease in Women. Wash: Pres Coun Phys Fitness Sports, 2004.

 Beer, wine and distilled spirits appear to have the same health benefits. Spirits include rum, vodka, tequila, gin, whiskey, and similar drinks. 

Cardiovascular Health Benefitted from Drinking Over Guidelines

Cent Dis Cont. Smoking among Women: Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. Atlanta: The Centers, 2006.

CO Dept Pub Health. Women and Cardiovascular Disease. Denver: The Dept, 2005.

Drinking Alcohol and Mortality in Cardiovascular Disease Patients

Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Death 

Drinking Alcohol, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Health, and Mortality

Drinking and Coronary Artery Disease Risk: Effects of Alcohol. 

Effects of Alcohol on Risk of Strokes and Heart Attacks (Health Facts).  

Ganzit, G. and Stefanini, L. Cardiovascular Diseases and Physical Activity. Torino : SEEd, 2012.

Kokkinos, P. Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Disease Prevention. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett, 2010.

Mendis, S. Global Atlas on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Control. Geneva: WHO, 2011.

Nardo, D. Cardiovascular Disease and Diet. Farmington Hills, MI: Lucent, 2015.

Villegas, A. and Sanchez-Tainta, A. The Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease through the Mediterranean Diet. London: Academic, 2018.

Robinson, M. Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease. Hoboken: Informa, 2006.

Samaan, R. Dietary Fiber for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease. London: Elsevier, 2017.

Watson, R. and Myers, A. Alcohol and Heart Disease. NY: Taylor & Francis, 2003.

Winterfield, A. and Kent, H. Women and Cardiovascular Disease. Denver: Nat Conf State Legis, 2005.

Zeisel, S. and Kohlmeier, M. Diet, Obesity & Cardiovascular Disease. Chapel Hill, NC: Medeor, 2002.