Risk of heart disease doubles with early menopause

Stroke risk also increases, study shows; findings apply across ethnic groups

Women who go into early menopause are twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease and stroke, Johns Hopkins-led research suggests. This holds true across ethnic groups and independent of other heart disease risk factors, the research shows.

"If physicians know a patient has entered menopause before her 46th birthday, they can be extra vigilant in making recommendations and providing treatments to help prevent heart attacks and stroke," says Dhananjay Vaidya, an assistant professor in of general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and leader of the study published in the October issue of the journal Menopause. "Our results suggest it is also important to avoid early menopause if at all possible."

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more from Johns Hopkins Medicine