FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A history of premature menopause is associated with an increased incidence of heart failure and atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published online Aug. 4 in the European Heart Journal.

Jean Shin, from the Korea University College of Medicine in Seoul, and colleagues examined the association of premature menopause with the risk for heart failure and AF among 1,401,175 postmenopausal women.

The researchers identified 42,699 (3.0 percent) and 44,834 (3.2 percent) new cases of heart failure and AF, respectively, at a mean follow-up of 9.1 years. Women with versus those without a history of premature menopause had an increased risk for heart failure and AF (hazard ratios, 1.33 and 1.09, respectively). A significantly increased trend in the hazard ratios for both heart failure and AF was seen for women aged 45 to 49, 40 to 44, and younger than 40 years at menopause compared with women aged 50 years or older at menopause. The findings were strengthened in a series of sensitivity analyses.

“Evidence is accumulating that undergoing menopause before the age of 40 may increase the likelihood of heart disease later in life,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our study indicates that reproductive history should be routinely considered in addition to traditional risk factors such as smoking when evaluating the future likelihood of heart failure and atrial fibrillation.”

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