Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center

Chrisandra Shufelt, MD

Chrisandra Shufelt, MD, MS, NCMP
Associate Director, Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center

New solutions for menopause and heart disease

Dangerous time: The risk of heart disease increases significantly at menopause. A woman's natural estrogen levels help maintain a healthy balance between HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol). With menopause, estrogen levels change—and so do cholesterol levels. Bad cholesterol typically rises. And the chance of having high blood pressure triples. Yet traditional hormone replacement therapy also can increase the odds of heart disease and stroke. So women are looking for guidance.

A highly specialized clinic: Our Women's Hormone and Menopause Program specifically reaches out to women at higher risk for heart disease who want to treat their menopausal symptoms at the same time they help prevent heart problems.

What is different here: We tailor a treatment plan to each woman. We look at her medical history, risk factors, and symptoms in a comprehensive cardiac risk assessment. We offer high-risk hormone counseling, bioidentical hormones and non-hormonal alternatives, and lifestyle guidance. Plus, we are researching whether such complementary modalities as acupuncture can ease menopausal symptoms.

The bottom line: No woman needs to suffer with symptoms—there are options. Menopause is a time to assess your heart health so the next chapter of your life can be as productive as your youth.