Menopause type and age linked to early Cardiovascular Disease

25 June 2020

Women who experienced surgical menopause early were at greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a new study by University of Queensland researchers.

School of Public Health PhD student Dr Dongshan Zhu analysed data from InterLACE, an international research collaboration that provided statistics on more than 500,000 women from 25 studies around the world.

“The study found women who had both ovaries removed before aged 45 were 20% more likely to have a non-fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) event, such as heart attack, angina and stroke,” Dr Zhu said.

This compared with women who experienced menopause naturally at the same age.

Dr Zhu said the lower the age a woman experienced menopause, the higher her risk of having a CVD event in future, a finding associated with both natural and surgical menopause.

“Women with surgical menopause before aged 40 were nearly twice as likely to experience a non-fatal CVD event, compared with women who experienced menopause after aged 50.

The study also found women who experienced surgical menopause before aged 50 and took hormone therapy had a lower risk of heart disease than those who went without.

UQ Professor Gita Mishra, who leads the InterLACE project and is senior author on the study, said the findings may have important clinical implications.

“Women who experienced early menopause, surgical or natural, needed close monitoring and engagement for early diagnosis of CVD and preventive health measures.

The findings also suggested timing of menopause should be considered as an important factor in risk assessment of CVD,” said Professor Mishra.

This study was published in the Human Reproduction journal. DOI:10.1093/humrep/deaa124

Media: Professor Gita Mishra,, +61 7 3365 2924; Faculty of Medicine Communications,, +61 7 3365 5133, +61 436 368 746.