Early menopause linked to increased risk of heart failure
Article date: 14 May 2014
Women who experience early menopause are more likely to struggle with heart failure in later life, according to new research.
The study - published by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in their journal Menopause - highlighted females aged between 40 and 45 as being particularly at risk of the condition.
Another influencing factor was whether or not they were smokers, with the probability of heart failure even higher among women who had taken up the habit in the past or those who still regularly used cigarettes.
As a result, NAMS has called on females to take further action to attempt to reduce their risk of developing heart disease, focusing on consuming a healthy diet, losing weight, exercising and quitting smoking to achieve that aim.
Executive director Dr Margery Gass said: "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?"
The research itself was carried out in Sweden, by the Stockholm-based Karolinska Institute. It is the first study carried out on a large scale that has been able to make a connection between the two conditions.
Data from over 22,000 postmenopausal women was analysed as part of the report via the Swedish National Patient Register and Sweden's Cause of Death Register. Scientists also accessed the health surveys of around 90,000 females in the Swedish Mammography Cohort to build a bigger picture to help them with their hypotheses.
According to official UK figures, heart failure affects over 750,000 people in the country and it is linked with a number of other serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack and coronary heart disease.
Meanwhile, 51 is the average age for women to experience menopause, although it has been known for some to reach this stage in their 30s.