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Irregular periods and women’s heart health: Know the connection

The presence of metabolic abnormalities nearly doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, says a doctor

heart health, irregular periods and heart health, cardiovascular diseases, PCOS, PCOD, menstrual cycle, indian express newsIt is important to address the symptoms of PCOS early and aggressively. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Having regular periods is a sign of good health. Menstrual cycles are indicative of many things in the body, from hormonal balance and imbalance to reproductive health and even mental well-being.

When periods get irregular, it signals that not everything may be right in the body. A check-up with a doctor is the ideal follow-up step. It is a known fact that polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common health issue that plagues many women and young girls around the world.

Dr Rajpal Singh, director and interventional cardiologist at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond road, Bangalore explains that PCOS is a part of the metabolic syndrome characterised by insulin resistance and excess male androgen hormone levels.

“This leads to irregular periods, weight gain, abnormal lipid profile and diabetes. There is also association noted with sedentary lifestyle, onset of depression and hypertension. In India, nearly 25-30 per cent of women in the child-bearing age group suffer from PCOS or polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD); it is a common reason for female infertility,” he says.

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According to the doctor, from a cardiovascular viewpoint, the presence of metabolic abnormalities nearly doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. “It is, therefore, important to address the symptoms of PCOS, early and aggressively.”

Lifestyle modification forms the cornerstone of management. Weight loss, dietary discretion, regular physical exercise, smoking cessation, and review with a gynecologist with special interest in PCOS is mandatory, says Dr Singh, adding that use of drugs such as metformin, ACE/ARB inhibitors, aspirin and statins are shown to be associated with better cardiovascular outcomes in these patients.

“In the event of onset of cardiac or neurological symptoms, one should liaise with an experienced interventional cardiologist,” the doctor concludes.

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First published on: 01-10-2021 at 14:10 IST
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