HealthDay News — Paracardial adipose tissue may be a sign of developing cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women, according to a study published online January 30 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Samar El Khoudary, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and colleagues collected data, including computed tomography heart scans and blood samples, on 478 U.S. women who took part in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation. The women were in varying stages of menopause. Their average age was 51. None of the women was on hormone replacement therapy. 

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The researchers found that a 60% increase in paracardial adipose tissue was associated with a 160% greater risk of coronary artery calcification in postmenopausal women versus pre- or early menopausal women.

“We are showing for the first time that paracardial fat is associated with greater risk of calcification in postmenopausal women, more than in premenopausal women,” El Khoudary told HealthDay.

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