Chapter 3

Menopause

Genovefa D. Kolovou

Abstract

Natural menopause occurs during the early 50s of a woman’s life. The last two decades life expectancy for men and women has risen nationwide. This supports the hypothesis that women may live more than 30 years after the onset of menopause. The decline of estrogens production leads to various, usually annoying, vasomotor symptoms, to other conditions such as obesity, urogenital atrophy, cognition disturbances and eventually to an increased risk for developing degenerative diseases like osteoporosis, cardiovascular and others. The differences observed in the lipid profile of peri- or post-menopausal women are not only due to the decline levels of estradiol and raised levels of estrone, but also due to the changes of body weight. Central obesity, usually observed in peri- and post-menopausal women is associated with elevated plasma triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol concentrations. The organic system, which is affected significantly by menopause, is the cardiovascular one. Alterations in the cardiovascular system due to the rapid decline in endogenous estrogens production will be discussed.

Total Pages: 95-116 (22)

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