In a new study, researchers found women who reach menopause before the age of 50 have an increased risk of heart disease.
The results showed early menopause puts women at greater risk of suffering a non-fatal cardiac event like heart attack, angina or stroke.
The research was conducted by a team from The University of Queensland.
Past studies have found an association between early menopause and fatal cardiovascular events.
The relationship with non-fatal cardiovascular events was unclear until now.
In the study, the team gathered data from more than 300,000 women in 15 studies around the world using the collaborative databank, InterLACE.
They found women under 40 who experience premature menopause were nearly twice as likely to have a non-fatal cardiovascular event before the age of 60.
This is compared to women who reach menopause between the ages of 50 or 51, during what is considered the standard developmental period.
Women who were aged between 40 and 44 in menopause were 40% more likely to suffer from a heart health condition.
Smoking, being overweight or obese and having lower education levels can also strengthen the link between early menopause and a woman’s risk of heart disease.
The team says it is important to identify women with early menopause. This offers a window of opportunity for their doctors to work with them to monitor and actively manage cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Early clinical diagnosis will help to improve heart health in these women’s postmenopausal years.
One author of the study is the School of Public Health Professor Gita Mishra.
The study is published in The Lancet Public Health.
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