Early menopause ‘increases heart failure risk’

14 May 2014

Women who experience the menopause early are at a higher risk of heart failure, especially if they have ever smoked, according to new research from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.

Over 22,000 post-menopausal women were involved in the long-term study to see if there was a link between early-onset and heart failure.

The research team discovered that women who started the change between 40 to 45 had a 40 per cent higher risk of cardiac failure compared to women who went through menopause at the usual age, between 50 and 54.

According to the findings, for every one-year increase in age, the rate of heart failure dropped by two per cent.

It is already known that smokers start the change around a year earlier compared to those without the habit. The new study reveals that women who had smoked at any point during their lives had a higher risk of heart failure.

Dr Margery Gass, one of the authors of the research, said: "Menopause, early or late, is always a good time to take more steps to reduce heart disease risk through exercise, a healthy diet, weight loss, and quitting smoking.

"This thought-provoking study should encourage more research to find out how early menopause and heart failure are linked. Do the factors that cause heart failure also cause ovarian failure?"

Posted by Philip Briggs

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