Stop smoking in the transition phase to menopause to ward off threats of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, suggests a new study. Published in the journal American Heart Association, it shows smoking tobacco is a vital risk factor most associated with unhealthy arteries.

‘Midlife is a crucial window for women to take their cardiovascular wellness to heart and set a course for healthy ageing,’ says Ana Baylin, Associate Professor from the University of Michigan in the US.

‘The metabolic changes that often occur with menopause, especially increase in cholesterol levels and blood pressure, can significantly raise the risk of heart attacks, strokes and cognitive impairment later in life,’ she adds.

The results indicated women with a healthy lifestyle had significantly wider arteries, less arterial thickening and build-up of fatty plaque.

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The findings suggest that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, i.e., a mix of physical activity, proper eating habits and no tobacco use is particularly essential for women during the transition phase to menopause.