Can Irregular Periods Affect Women’s Heart Health?


PCOS leads to irregular periods, weight gain, abnormal lipid profile and diabetes

Dr Rajpal Singh, Director and Interventional Cardiologist, Fortis Hospital, Bangalore explains the co-relation between irregular periods and heart health

Irregular periods are a common issue among women of all ages. While they may not seem like a cause for concern, recent research suggests that irregular menstrual cycles could be a sign of underlying health problems, including heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women worldwide, making it crucial to understand the link between menstrual irregularities and heart health.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a part of the metabolic syndrome characterized 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% of women in the child-bearing age group, suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or Polycystic Ovarian Disease(PCOD), and is a common reason for female infertility.

From a cardiovascular viewpoint, the presence of above mentioned metabolic abnormalities, nearly doubles the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Therefore, it is 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 gynaecologist with special interest in PCOS is mandatory.

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 speak with an experienced interventional cardiologist.

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