Women's heart health linked to age at first menstrual period

September 09, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Sept. 9, 2020)--Early menarche has been associated with many cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, but little is known about its association with overall heart health. One new study suggests that age at menarche plays an important role in maintaining and improving cardiovascular health, although there are a number of age differences. Study results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

Because CVD is the leading cause of death in women, a lot of research is devoted to identifying ways for women to improve their heart health and prevent major cardiovascular events. Cardiovascular health takes into account factors such as blood pressure, total cholesterol, and glucose levels, as well as behavioral factors including cigarette smoking, body mass index, physical activity, and diet. Ideal cardiovascular health is associated with a lower risk of CVD, as well as with other outcomes such as cancer, cognitive impairment, and depression. Studies have shown that ideal cardiovascular health is prevalent in 50% of the US population at 10 years of age and declines to less than 10% by 50 years of age.

Some forms of CVD have their origins during childhood, which is one reason why they have been previously associated with early menarche. To date, however, few if any studies have focused on the association between early menarche (generally defined as the occurrence of first menstruation before 12 years of age) and overall cardiovascular health. This new study involving more than 20,000 women not only found that increases in age at menarche are significantly associated with increases in heart health in women but also that there are major age differences in the association. In fact, significant associations between age at menarche and ideal cardiovascular health were observed only in young women, whereas little association was documented in older women. This suggests that age at menarche may be less of a predictor of heart health as women age.

Similarly, the researchers found that the protective effects of late menarche on cardiovascular health were apparent in women aged 25 to 44 years, whereas the detrimental effects of early menarche were only observed in those aged 25 to 34 years. Further studies are necessary to better understand the reason behind these declining associations.

Results are published in the article "Age at menarche and cardiovascular health: results from the NHANES 1999-2016."

"This study highlights a link between age at menarche and cardiovascular health, findings that were evident only in younger women and may be driven by associations with body mass index. Given that heart disease is the number one killer of women, identifying those women who experienced early menarche (aged younger than 12 years) may allow for earlier intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk," says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
-end-
For more information about menopause and healthy aging, visit http://www.menopause.org.

Founded in 1989, The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) is North America's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the health and quality of life of all women during midlife and beyond through an understanding of menopause and healthy aging. Its multidisciplinary membership of 2,000 leaders in the field--including clinical and basic science experts from medicine, nursing, sociology, psychology, nutrition, anthropology, epidemiology, pharmacy, and education--makes NAMS uniquely qualified to serve as the definitive resource for health professionals and the public for accurate, unbiased information about menopause and healthy aging. To learn more about NAMS, visit http://www.menopause.org.

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS)

Related Cardiovascular Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Changes by income level in cardiovascular disease in US
Researchers examined changes in how common cardiovascular disease was in the highest-income earners compared with the rest of the population in the United States between 1999 and 2016.

Fighting cardiovascular disease with acne drug
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg and Stanford University have found the cause of dilated cardiomyopathy - a leading cause of heart failure - and identified a potential treatment for it: a drug already used to treat acne.

A talk with your GP may prevent cardiovascular disease
Having a general practitioner (GP) who is trained in motivational interviewing may reduce your risk of getting cardiovascular disease.

Dilemma of COVID-19, aging and cardiovascular disease
Whether individuals should continue to take angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers in the context of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is discussed in this article.

Air pollution linked to dementia and cardiovascular disease
People continuously exposed to air pollution are at increased risk of dementia, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular diseases, according to a study at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden published in the journal JAMA Neurology.

New insights into the effect of aging on cardiovascular disease
Aging adults are more likely to have - and die from - cardiovascular disease than their younger counterparts.

Premature death from cardiovascular disease
National data were used to examine changes from 2000 to 2015 in premature death (ages 25 to 64) from cardiovascular disease in the United States.

Ultrasound: The potential power for cardiovascular disease therapy
In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications volume 4, issue 2, pp.

Despite the ACA, millions of Americans with cardiovascular disease still can't get care
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for Americans, yet millions with CVD or cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) still can't access the care they need, even years after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Excess weight and body fat cause cardiovascular disease
In the first Mendelian randomization study to look at this, researchers have found evidence that excess weight and body fat cause a range of heart and blood vessel diseases (rather than just being associated with it).

Read More: Cardiovascular Disease News and Cardiovascular Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.