By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When should women worry most about preventing heart disease?

According to a report from Wake Forest, the time to start protecting your heart and guarding against bone loss is during perimenopause or, preferably, even earlier.

Perimenopause is the years prior to menopause when estrogen levels start to decline and the hormonal balance changes. So, what leading experts have suggested is that in your mid-thirties you should begin a self-assessment and medical report card. Develop a plan with your doctor for your overall health, diet, and lifestyle for the second half of your life. Most importantly, try to reduce stress, eat well, and exercise.

All of these things can be very helpful when it comes to your overall health, even fighting osteoporosis.

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