Age at menopause does not increase cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study published in Heart.
The study used data from the UK Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development to examine the association between age at period cessation and trajectories of systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) from 36 to 69 years and trajectories of triglyceride, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) from 53 to 69 years.
There was some evidence of associations of age at period cessation with log BMI, log WC and log HbA1c, but patterns were not consistent and differences were small at age 69 years, with confidence intervals that spanned the null value.
The findings would suggest that intermediate risk factors are unlike to mediate the increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) events observed in women with early menopause.
However, the authors said studies with larger sample sizes in more heterogeneous populations are required to provide more precise estimates of associations. They add that there may still be associations with other CVD intermediates that have not been evaluated here, such as coronary artery calcification and vascular structure and function.