When women enter menopause, their oestrogen levels taper. This increases their risk of cardiovascular disease. New research from University of Copenhagen shows that interval-based team sport can make up for this oestrogen loss as it improves their conditions, reduces blood pressure and thereby protects the cardiovascular system.
While aging and an array of physical transformations go hand in hand for all, menopause has a significant influence on physical changes in women. Oestrogen, the primary female sex hormone, is an important guardian of the female vascular system. Thus, as oestrogen levels fall during menopause, the risks of increased blood pressure and development of cardiovascular disease increases. A new study by the University of Copenhagen-s Centre for Team Sport and Health documents and addresses the issue.
Changes to the cardiovascular system occur soon after menopause
-Results demonstrate that blood pressure among post-menopausal women is 10% higher immediately after menopause than in similarly-aged, pre-menopausal women. They also had higher levels of an early marker for arteriosclerosis,- explains postdoc Michael Nyberg.
The new aspect of this study is that researchers have investigated the effects of oestrogen in women of the same age, both before and after menopause. Previous studies didn-t look at similarly aged pre- and post-menopausal women. Instead, they investigated women with 15-20 year gaps in age. Therefore, they were unable to determine whether changes were due to age or oestrogen loss.
Results of the recent study have now been published in the esteemed journal, The American Journal of Physiology.
Floorball prevents cardiovascular disease among women
In a bid to prevent increased risk of cardiovascular disease, the study examined the effect of 12-week floorball training among post-menopausal women.
The results were clear.
-Following just 12 weeks of twice weekly practices, the women-s conditions had improved and their blood pressure was reduced by 4 mmHg (*), which correlates with a 40% lower risk of stroke,- explains Professor and Centre Director Jens Bangsbo.
Continuing, Bangsbo asserts that, -Furthermore, there was a positive development in relation to levels of substances vital to blood vessel function, including a 20% decrease in markers associated with arteriosclerosis.-