Mickie Griffith: July Article - Fat Kat

Cardiovascular health and menopause

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Mickie Griffith-Autry, PhD, NP-C

Mickie Griffith-Autry Article


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in women over 45 years of age. This accounts for approximately 45% of mortality in women. CVD strikes wome most frequently during the later perimenopausal years. The rate rises rapidly during the late fifties.

Risk factors that directly influence the development of CVD include smoking, abnormal cholesterol levels, obesity, stress, and decreased physical activity. Medical conditions that contribute to the risk of CVD include hypertension and diabetes.

CVD risk reduction includes smoking cessation, heart healthy nutrition, weight management, exercise, stress reduction, and routine surveillance by your health care provider.

Lifestyle modification in conjunction with pharmacologic therapy may reduce the risk of CVD and improve the menopausal woman's quality of life. Each woman should be given an individualized plan of care and include realistic goals.

The effect of hormone replacement therapy on the prevention and treatment of heart disease is widely debated in the medical literature. Studies that are available in the literature are inconsistent in their findings.

Heart health is important during the menopausal years. Awareness of risk factors and therapeutic strategies can have a positive impact on the health of the menopausal woman and reduce the risk of CVD.




Ms. Autry earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Jacksonville State University, her Masters of Science degree in nursing from the University of Alabama Huntsville, and her PhD from Walden University. Her research dissertation was entitled Pelvic muscle strengthening: Impact on sexual functioning in the menopausal woman. Ms. Autry is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Nursing Credentialing Center, and the Certification Board for Urological Nurses and Associates. She has completed multiple postgraduate preceptor programs in female sexual medicine, pelvic pain, and pelvic floor dysfunction. Ms. Autry is an active member of the Society of Urological Nurse Associates, North American Menopause Society, American Urological Society, and the International Pelvic Pain Society and founder of two women's health support groups. She is a national and local speaker for multiple pharmaceutical and medical companies, has participated in clinical trial studies, and has published articles in the Society of Urological Nurse Associate and North American Menopause Society journals.


Mickie Griffith-Autry, PhD, NP-C



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