HT alone does not increase the risk of a heart attack. Heart attacks are the number two killer of women in Canada. Healthy perimenopausal women benefit from a protective effect from HT and in fact have a lowered risk of heart attack.
Post- menopause, as a woman grows older, the risks of heart disease increase. Risks for HT are age and life-style related.
The seven major risk factors for heart disease can all be modified, so a woman can adjust her lifestyle and reduce these risks. These risks are:
- Abnormal lipid profiles (seen from blood tests ordered by your doctor, these can include high blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol or fats called triglycerides)
- Abdominal obesity
- Poor diet
- Excess alcohol
- Chronic stress
If you have any of these risk factors in your life, tell your healthcare provider when you are discussing hormone therapy.