A team of researchers from the University of Queensland found that women who reach menopause before age 50 tend to have higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
Early Menopause Tied To Increased Risk For Heart Attack And Stroke
For the study, Gita Mishra and colleagues examined data from 15 observational studies that involved more than 300,000 women including nearly 13,000 women who survived events such as heart attack and stroke after menopause.
They found that women under 40 years of age who experienced premature menopause were nearly twice as likely to experience a non-fatal cardiovascular event before they reach the age of 60, compared with those who reach menopause between 50 and 51 years old, during what is considered as the standard development period.
Those who reach menopause between 40 and 44, on the other hand, are 40 percent more likely to suffer from a cardiovascular condition.
The researchers said that the results suggest that early menopause can place women at increased risk for non-fatal cardiac events such as heart attack, angina, or stroke. Earlier studies also found a link between early menopause and fatal cardiovascular events.
Other Facts That Can Strengthen The Link Between Early Menopause And Cardiovascular Events
The researchers said that other factors can also strengthen the link between early menopause and increased risk of cardiovascular diseases in women. These include smoking, being overweight or obese, and having lower education levels.
The researchers said that the findings of the study have important implications for public health. The age a woman had her menopause may help healthcare practitioners identify those with increased risk for heart diseases.
"Women with earlier menopause need close monitoring in clinical practice, and age at menopause might also be considered as an important factor in risk stratification of cardiovascular disease for women," they wrote in their study, which was published in journal The Lancet Public Health on Oct. 3.