How can menopausal and postmenopausal women protect themselves from health risks associated with aging?

Maintain a healthy weight with a balanced, low-sugar diet. Control high blood pressure with medications or lifestyle changes. This will help lower your risk of heart disease. Reduce stress in your life through relaxation methods or regular exercise.

Exercise, a heart-healthy diet, and weight control help prevent or reverse metabolic syndrome. This in turn lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes — all major causes of illness and death in older women. Preventing bone loss is an important concern for menopausal and postmenopausal women. Menopause significantly accelerates bone loss and increases the risk of osteoporosis.

Research shows that up to 20% of bone loss can occur in these stages and that osteoporosis affects around 1 in 10 women over 60 years of age worldwide. More accumulation was found in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women than in men and premenopausal women. To learn more about why these inequalities exist and how they could be addressed, SWAN researchers collect, analyze, and publish information about the health and aging of middle-aged women from diverse communities and racial and ethnic backgrounds. SWAN researchers are investigating the significance of physical, biological, psychological and social changes that occur in midlife women and the impact on their health.

Preventative health care as you age may include recommended screenings such as colonoscopy, mammography, and triglyceride screening. The momentum in this exciting area of research continues, and NIA-funded scientists are investigating the many outstanding questions, including menopause associated with cognitive, brain-related, and cardiovascular health in middle-aged women and beyond.

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