Early-onset menopause 'linked with greater risk of heart disease'

20 September 2016

Women who undergo the menopause early or prematurely may be at a greater risk of heart disease, according to a new study.

Carried out by the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the research evaluated the effect of age at onset of menopause on certain cardiovascular disease outcomes, as well as all-cause mortality rates.

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 32 studies was carried out, drawing upon data from 310,329 women. Overall, women who experienced premature or early-onset menopause before the age of 45 appeared to have a greater risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality.

Women between 50 and 54 years at the onset of menopause, meanwhile, were shown to have a decreased risk of fatal coronary heart disease compared with women younger than 50 years at onset.

The report concluded: "This review also highlights important gaps in the existing literature and calls for further research to reliably establish whether cardiovascular risk varies in relation to the time since onset of menopause, and the mechanisms leading early menopause to cardiovascular outcomes and mortality."

If these findings can be confirmed by future studies, premature and early-onset menopause could be considered as an important factor in disease risk and mortality rates among middle-aged and older women.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

 


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