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Heart Risk Factors Rise Before Menopause

Posted 3 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3, 2016 – Heart disease risk factors – such as abnormal cholesterol levels and high blood pressure – appear to increase before a woman goes through menopause, not after, new research finds. "These risk factors related to heart disease and stroke appear to worsen rapidly in the years leading up to menopause, and during the postmenopausal period they progress less rapidly," said Dr. Mark DeBoer, the study's senior author. He's an associate professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Virginia. In the past, he said, experts believed that a rapid increase in heart disease and stroke risk factors took place in women after menopause. They thought this was when women "catch up" to men's risk. However, the new research finds the rapid increase in risk factors starts well before the last menstrual period. The real danger zone, DeBoer's team concluded, was before ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Hot Flashes, High Cholesterol, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Dyspareunia, Vaginal Dryness, Hypertensive Heart Disease

Later Start, Finish to Menstruation May Extend Women's Lives

Posted 27 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – Women whose periods begin later and who experience menopause later in life are more likely to live to be 90, new research suggests. "Our study found that women who started menstruation at age 12 or older, experienced menopause, either naturally or surgically, at age 50 or older and had more than 40 reproductive years had increased odds of living to 90 years old," said study author Aladdin Shadyab. He's from the department of family medicine and public health at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. Shadyab said his grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 102. And that's what started his interest in researching longevity. The new study included a racially and ethnically diverse group of over 16,000 American women who were part of the ongoing Women's Health Initiative study. Fifty-five percent of these women lived to age 90. "Our team found ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Menstrual Disorders, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Premenstrual Syndrome, Period Pain, Amenorrhea, Menorrhagia, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Dysmenorrhea

Menopause Hastens Aging, Studies Suggest

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – Menopause, and the insomnia that often goes along with it, can speed aging in women, two new studies suggest. "For decades, scientists have disagreed over whether menopause causes aging or aging causes menopause," said Steve Horvath, senior author of both papers. "It's like the chicken or the egg: which came first? Our study is the first to demonstrate that menopause makes you age faster," said Horvath, a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles. He and his colleagues said they found that menopause boosts cellular aging by an average of 6 percent. "That doesn't sound like much, but it adds up over a woman's life span," Horvath added in a UCLA news release. For example, a woman who began early menopause at age 42 would be a full year older biologically at age 50 than a woman ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Premenopausal Anovulation

Menopause: Not All Hot Flashes Are Created Equal

Posted 22 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 22, 2016 – The hot flashes and night sweats of menopause don't play out the same for all women, new research shows. Almost 80 percent of women do get hot flashes, night sweats or both during menopause, the researchers found. But the timing of these symptoms and how long they last appear to vary a great deal, with factors such as body weight, race, education and dietary habits tending to predict the patterns. "We used to think these symptoms lasted from three to five years, right around the time of the final menstrual period," said senior study author Rebecca Thurston. She is director of the Women's Biobehavioral Health Lab at the University of Pittsburgh. "We now know that these symptoms persist for far longer – typically seven to 10 years – and occur at different times for different women," she added. Thurston's team followed nearly 1,500 women as they transitioned ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Obesity, Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Weight Loss, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Atrophic Vaginitis, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Atrophic Urethritis, Dyspareunia, Vaginal Dryness, Premenopausal Anovulation

Hormone Therapy Won't Help Memory After Menopause

Posted 19 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 19, 2016 – Women who take estrogen after menopause may believe it helps them maintain their memory and thinking skills, but a new study suggests they are mistaken. Researchers found no change in mental ability associated with estrogen therapy among women who used it after menopause, no matter when they started taking it. "There is no important benefit, there is no important risk cognitively associated with the use of hormone therapy over at least five years," said lead researcher Dr. Victor Henderson. He is a professor of health research and policy, and neurology and neurological science at Stanford University School of Medicine, in Palo Alto, Calif. "If a postmenopausal woman is considering taking hormone therapy with the thought that it might improve memory or other aspects of cognition, she should know that there is no evidence that it does benefit cognition," he said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Premarin, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Vagifem, Vivelle, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Climara, Atrophic Vaginitis, Estring, Vivelle-Dot, Estradiol Patch, Premarin Vaginal, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Minivelle, Cenestin

Lifestyle Change May Cut Risk for Women With Breast Cancer Genes

Posted 26 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 26, 2016 – Women who carry common gene variants linked to breast cancer can still cut their risk of the disease by following a healthy lifestyle, a large new study suggests. In fact, lifestyle might be especially powerful for women at relatively high genetic risk of breast cancer, researchers found. "Those genetic risks are not set in stone," said senior researcher Nilanjan Chatterjee, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The study found that four lifestyle factors were key: Maintaining a healthy weight; not smoking; limiting alcohol; and not using hormone therapy after menopause. The researchers estimated that if all white U.S. women did those things, almost 30 percent of breast cancer cases could be avoided. And a majority of those averted cancers would be among women at increased risk because of family history and the gene ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Smoking, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Smoking Cessation, Alcoholism, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Acute Alcohol Intoxication

Antidepressants Not Just for Depression Any More

Posted 24 May 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 24, 2016 – Doctors prescribe antidepressants for a wide range of medical problems other than depression, apparently fueling the boom in sales of these medications, researchers report. Depression accounts for only a little more than half the antidepressant prescriptions issued by Quebec physicians during the past decade, the Canadian study found. Doctors also issued antidepressants to treat anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, panic disorders, fibromyalgia, migraine, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and a host of other "off-label" conditions for which the drugs are not approved, according to the report. Two out of every three non-depression prescriptions for antidepressants were handed out under an off-label purpose, the findings showed. "The thing that's of concern here is that when prescribing for conditions other than depression, often these are for indications such as ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Headache, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Lexapro, Fibromyalgia, Zoloft, Sleep Disorders, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Migraine, Insomnia, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil

What Women Should Do to Guard Against Vision Loss

Posted 12 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 12, 2016 – Women are a majority of the 4.4 million Americans over age 40 who are visually impaired or blind, Prevent Blindness says. The national organization has declared April as Women's Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, and has outlined several things women need to know about vision and eye health. The group said women are at greater risk than men for vision loss from such eye diseases as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as a condition called dry eye, which is more common after menopause. Pregnancy can cause dry eyes, puffy eyelids and refractive changes that may show up as blurred or double vision. Pregnant women's vision may also be affected by migraine headaches, diabetes and high blood pressure, according to Prevent Blindness. The organization also warns that some glaucoma medications may harm a fetus, and advises pregnant women to ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Migraine, Hypertension, Eye Conditions, Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Glaucoma, Diabetes, Type 1, Eye Dryness/Redness, Cataract, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Pre-Diabetes, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Diabetes Mellitus, Visual Defect/Disturbance

Acupuncture May Ease Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Patients

Posted 29 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 28, 2016 – Acupuncture can help alleviate the often-debilitating hot flashes that afflict many breast cancer patients, new Italian research says. Noting that hot flashes are a fact of life for many women with breast cancer, the investigators found that pairing lifestyle advice with weekly acupuncture sessions dramatically improved the women's quality of life. "Acupuncture together with enhanced self-care for three months is effective in reducing hot flashes in women with breast cancer," said study author Giorgia Razzini, a clinical trial project manager in the oncology unit of Ospedale di Carpi (Carpi Hospital), in Bologna, Italy. And because hormone treatment for breast cancer typically makes the hot flash experience even worse, Razzini added, acupuncture could be a useful tool for helping such patients "stay on their therapy and improve their quality of life." Razzini ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer

Estrogen for Vaginal Symptoms OK for Breast Cancer Survivors: Experts

Posted 22 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 22, 2016 – Women who've battled or survived an estrogen-dependent form of breast cancer often encounter vaginal symptoms linked to their treatment, especially around the time of menopause. Now, new guidelines from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advise that the use of symptom-relieving estrogen therapy is warranted for these patients. "These new recommendations are especially important and helpful because they provide the patient with the information needed to make an informed decision with the input of her health care provider," Dr. Diana Nancy Contreras, chair of ACOG's Subcommittee on Gynecologic Oncology, said in a college news release. One expert in women's health explained that patients with an estrogen-dependent breast cancer often suffer vaginal symptoms linked to treatment. "Many estrogen-dependent breast cancer treatments may bring ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Estrace, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Vagifem, Vivelle, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Climara, Atrophic Vaginitis, Natazia, Estring, Vivelle-Dot, Estradiol Patch, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Cervical Cancer, Minivelle, Evamist

Migraines May Worsen as Menopause Approaches

Posted 22 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2016 – For women who suffer migraines, the frequency of these debilitating headaches seems to increase as they approach menopause, a new study finds. "Changes in female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that occur during the perimenopause might trigger increased headaches during this time," said study co-author Dr. Richard Lipton. He is director of the Montefiore Headache Center and vice chair of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. The new research included more than 3,600 women who suffered migraines before and during menopause. The risk of high-frequency migraines (10 or more a month) rose 60 percent during the transitional time into menopause marked by irregular menstrual cycles (perimenopause). The risk of migraine was highest during the later stage of perimenopause, when women have low levels of estrogen, the study found. ... Read more

Related support groups: Migraine, Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Migraine Prevention, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Migraine Prophylaxis, Perimenopausal Symptoms

Sham Acupuncture Equals Real Acupuncture for Hot Flashes: Study

Posted 20 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20, 2016 – Sham acupuncture is as effective as real acupuncture in treating hot flashes in women, and the placebo effect likely plays a role in both, according to a new Australian study. In real acupuncture, thin needles are inserted into the skin at specific points. Sham acupuncture uses blunt-tipped needles that don't penetrate the skin. The study included 327 Australian women older than 40 who had at least seven moderate hot flashes a day. Half received 10 sessions of real acupuncture over eight weeks and the other half received the same number of sessions of sham acupuncture. By the end of the treatment period, women in both groups had a 40 percent reduction in the severity and frequency of their hot flashes. The benefits were still evident six months after treatment, the University of Melbourne researchers found. There are a number of possible explanations for the ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Atrophic Vaginitis, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Atrophic Urethritis, Dyspareunia, Vaginal Dryness

Can Early Menopause Trigger Depression Later in Life?

Posted 6 Jan 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 6, 2016 – Premature menopause may increase a woman's later risk of depression, a new review suggests. If further studies confirm the findings, doctors might try to identify women most likely to need psychiatric or hormonal treatment after their periods end, the researchers said. For the study, published online Jan. 6 in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, researchers analyzed the results of 14 studies that included nearly 68,000 older women. Those whose menopause began when they were 40 and older had a lower risk of depression later in life than those with premature menopause, the study found. Women who are older when menopause begins and have a longer reproductive life have greater exposure to the hormone estrogen, the study authors said in a journal news release. The findings suggest "a potentially protective effect of increasing duration of exposure to [natural] estrogens ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Major Depressive Disorder, Trazodone, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Bupropion, Hot Flashes, Viibryd, Fluoxetine, Effexor XR

The Pill, Hormone Therapy Safe for Women Taking Blood Thinners: Study

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 22, 2015 – Women on blood thinners can also take contraceptives that contain estrogen, or hormone replacement therapy, without raising their risk for blood clots or uterine bleeding, a new Italian study finds. Currently, women diagnosed with blood clots may be advised to stop hormone therapy or use of the contraceptive pill – even if they are already on a blood thinner. The reason: Doctors are often concerned that these drug combinations might raise the patient's risk for more clots. However, "there has been no evidence to support this decision," said the study's senior author, Dr. Ida Martinelli, of the A. Bianchi Bonomi Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center in Milan. "We conducted this study to address the fear felt by both the physician and patient when making the decision to stop or continue hormone therapy in this setting," she explained in a news release from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Blood Disorders, Bleeding Disorder, Emergency Contraception, Warfarin, Coumadin, Hot Flashes, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders, Xarelto, Premarin, Pradaxa, Ethinyl Estradiol, Estrace, Postcoital Contraception, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Lovenox, Eliquis, Vagifem

Hormone Therapy Safely Helps Preserve Fertility for Breast Cancer Patients: Study

Posted 22 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Dec. 22 2015 – Chemotherapy can affect a young breast cancer patient's fertility, sending her into premature menopause, so in many cases doctors provide patients with hormonal therapy during chemo to prevent this side effect. Now, new research suggests that the approach does help these patients without lowering their odds of surviving the cancer. One expert noted that the issue is a tough one for many young breast cancer patients. "The most reliable way in 2015 to preserve a patient's fertility is through egg harvesting prior to chemotherapy and in vitro fertilization," explained Dr. Charles Shapiro, director of translational breast cancer research at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. "However, as this procedure is typically not covered by insurance, it is only an option for those of financial means," he said. "So, those who cannot afford the procedure can choose to ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Female Infertility, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Ovulation Induction, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Trelstar, Primary Ovarian Failure, Follicle Stimulation, Trelstar LA, Trelstar Depot, Triptorelin

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