Early Menopause Could be a Risk Factor For Heart Disease

Going through the menopause is something that many women dread. Despite its inevitability it can still cause an awful lot of stress. Now it seems, however, that women who begin the menopause early may have more to worry about than the stress itself. New research found that females who stop having their periods before age 46 had a higher incidence of heart disease and stroke.

It has been suspected for a long time that women who go through the menopause early could be at a greater risk of medical problems due to the loss of the hormone estrogen in their system. But this new research has found a link for the first time.

The study, published in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, found that women who went through the menopause early were around twice as likely to eventually have heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, and as such the authors of the study were anxious to uncover the effects of menopause on cardiovascular health.

Sometimes it’s easy to think of heart disease as something that women only need to worry about after the onset of the menopause. But increasingly it seems that we actually need to look for better ways to prevent heart disease much earlier in life.

The study looked at 2,509 women age 45 to 84, who were recruited between 2000 and 2002 and followed until 2008. The authors then looked at the association between the ages of the women going through the menopause and future coronary heart disease and stroke.

The researchers confirmed that they were not entirely sure as to why going through the menopause early causes women to be more at risk. More research is required, although the authors suspect it is due to the lower levels of estrogen.

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