To Seek the Association Between Reproductive History and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Post Menopausal Women

INTRODUCTION: Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A study shows among 169 women under age 60 with a diagnosis of coronary heart disease in residents of Rochester, Minnesota. The first manifestation of coronary heart disease was angina in 95, myocardial infarction in 59, and sudden unexpected death in 15 women. (C M Beard et al, 1984).

AIM AND OBJECTIVES:   To seek the association between reproductive history and cardiovascular disease risk in post-menopausal women.

METHODS: Descriptive co relational study design was used to ascertain the association between reproductive history and cardiovascular disease risk in Vijay Marie Hospital, Hyderabad.  After obtaining consent a pilot study was conducted on 20 women above 35 years of age, married or unmarried, working or non-working women were selected by purposive sampling technique.  Three tools were developed and checked for its content validity.  Tool for socio demographic data, maternal history of women and assessment of cardiac risk factors.  Data obtained was analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics.

RESULTS: Majority of women were 55-59 years, below 10th grade, 70% working, 75% married, 50% had family members more than three, 55% joint family, 30% diabetes.  There is statistically significant association between demographic data such as education (P=0.002), occupation (P=0.002), marital status (P=0.025), monthly family income (P=0.035) and heart problems at 0.05 level.   The association between age and selected cardiovascular risk factors such as high cholesterol (P=0.007), heart disease (P=0.00), arthritis (P=0.00), use of tobacco (P=0.002), physical activity (P=0.047), currently on OCPs (P=0.025), heart problems (P=0.002), on cardiac medications (P=0.002), are found to be statistically significant at 0.05 level.  There is also statistically significant association seen between reproductive history such as no. of abortions (P=0.001), regularity of menstruation (P=0.000), age at menopause (P=0.001) and heart problems at 0.05 level.

CONCLUSION: Selected demographic characters such as education, occupation, marital status and monthly income; cardiac risk factors such as use of tobacco, light physical activity, on HRT, OCPs and on cardiac medications; reproductive history such as no. of abortions, regularity of menstruation and age at menopause were statistically found to be significant at 0.05 level.  Studies can be undertaken to see the effectiveness of alternative treatments in decreasing the postmenopausal symptoms.  Studies also can be undertaken to enhance the knowledge of women through structured health education program.