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Study finds that women who age are more likely to have their blood vessels narrowed.
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Study finds that women who age are more likely to have their blood vessels narrowed.

A new study from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, has shown that age is a strong predictor of arterial stiffness. An additional factor that can influence arterial stiffness are hormones, contraceptive pills phase, menstrual cycle phases, and menopausal statuses.

The human vasculature is made up of veins, arteries, and capillaries that allow blood to flow in a particular direction. The arteries that carry blood throughout your body work in tandem with the heart. Blood can progress by the arteries, which alternately contract and dilate. This is called a pulse wave. The walls of the blood vessels should be elastic enough to allow the pulse wave to continue without the walls of your arteries rupturing. The arterial wall stiffens with the aging of blood vessels. Stiffening increases the chance of developing cardiovascular disease and can lead to cardiac death. Studies have shown that female sex hormones can affect several factors that regulate vascular wall flexibility. Young women with high estrogen levels may be at lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease than their male counterparts. It is not known if hormone levels or arterial stiffness in women are affected by their age or use hormonal products.

“Our study combined two datasets that included young adults and middle-aged females. It allowed us to examine the different hormonal conditions involved in women’s life,” Eija Laakkonen, Associate Professor at the Gerontology Research Center and Faculty of Sports and Health Science of University of Jyvaskyla said. Laakkonen said, “We were able study the associations between the natural menstrual cycle (and the use birth control pills), as well as the natural menopause (and the use hormone therapy with the flexibility the arteries).”

The entire study was conducted on women aged 19-58 years. The stiffer the arteries, the older the women. The hormones estradiol, follicle stimulating hormone, and follicle-stimulatinghormone were the most associated with arterial stiffness. However age was a stronger indicator of stiffness than hormone level. Examining the subsets revealed that arterial stiffness was associated with hormonal state. The rate of attenuation in the pulse wave was greater during menstrual periods and late follicular phases than it was during ovulation. Combination oral contraceptive patients have different hormonal levels. They take pills containing estrogen or progestogen for three weeks, then switch to hormone-free pills for one to two weeks. Withdrawal bleeding occurs during this time. The arteries became more flexible while taking hormonal pills than during bleeding. The arteries of postmenopausal females on hormone therapy were the most stiff.

“Based upon this study, it is clear that age is a significant regulator for vascular functions. However, hormones also play a part in regulating arterial elasticity at different times in a woman’s lifetime,” Laakkonen said. “In future studies, it would make sense to closely examine and compare the effects endogenous and exogenous hormonal hormones on arterial wall property to better understand the regulation and regulation of arterial properties at different hormonal levels women go through.” Laakkonen said that such comprehensive studies have not yet been conducted. (ANI)

(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff.

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