A study published by JAMA Cardiology evaluated the effect of age at onset of menopause and duration since onset of menopause on cardiovascular disease outcomes and all-cause mortality. Findings indicate a high risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular mortality and overall mortality in women with early-onset menopause.
Approximately 10 percent of women experience premature menopause by the age of 45. The fact that this could potentially be a risk factor for CVD is an important aspect to consider in middle-aged and older women.
Taulant Muka, MD, PhD, of Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of 32 studies that included 310,329 women. They compared outcomes between women with premature menopause at younger than 45 years and those with onset at 45 years or after.
Findings showed that overall, women who experienced premature or early-onset menopause had a greater risk of CHD, CVD mortality, and all-cause mortality. No association was found with risk of stroke. In comparison, women between 50 and 54 years at onset of menopause had a decreased risk of fatal CHD. With respect to to the risk of developing intermediate cardiovascular traits or CVD outcomes, the results were inconsistent.
"The findings of this review indicate a higher risk of CHD, cardiovascular mortality, and overall mortality in women who experience premature or early-onset menopause when younger than 45 years. However, 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," the authors write.
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