Science

Early menopause: beware of the heart

Most women go through menopause around the age of 50. But in some of them (1 to 2%), the cessation of menstruation and a decrease in the secretion of estrogen hormones by the ovaries occur earlier, in most cases due to cancer (chemotherapy and radiation therapy often change ovarian function), as well as due to comorbidities (illness Crohn’s, hypothyroidism, etc.), obviously in the case of oophorectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries) or even without establishing the cause, since there is often a family character. Then we are talking about early (before 45 years old) or premature (before 40 years old) menopause.

The link between early menopause and cardiovascular disease is already known

According to a very large Korean study conducted on one and a half million women and published in the European Heart Journal, the journal of the European Society of Cardiology, to be held at the end of August 2032 in Barcelona, ​​this early development gives those who suffer from it a significant fragility of the heart, leading to a higher risk of heart failure and atrial fibrillation, two heart conditions causing shortness of breath and arrhythmias.

Although the link between early menopause and cardiovascular disease was certainly already known, this time the researchers were particularly interested in heart failure and fibrillation, two pathologies for which little data had been available so far.

Increased risk of heart failure and atrial fibrillation

About one and a half million women (1,401,175 to be exact) with a mean age of 60 years at the time of enrollment in the study were followed up for about 9 years, and work under the direction of Dr. national health insurance system.

During these 9 years, 42,699 (3.0%) of them developed heart failure and 44,834 (3.2%) atrial fibrillation. After adjusting their calculations for common factors (age, smoking, physical activity, weight, etc.), the researchers concluded that women who experienced premature menopause had an increased risk of developing these two conditions compared to other women, plus 33% for heart disease. insufficiency and plus 9% for atrial fibrillation.

According to the authors, these associations can be explained by two main factors: a decrease in estrogen levels and a change in the distribution of body fat with age. As for the idea of ​​the study, it is as follows: inform concerned women about the fragility of their heart, inform them about the risk of cardiovascular disease, and act for prevention by establishing cardiac monitoring in case of menopause before the age of 45.

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