Women who enter menopause before their 46th birthday are twice as likely to suffer a stroke or coronary heart disease, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.
The risk from early menopause is true no matter the ethnic or racial background of a woman, the study found. Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women.
The results are the same for women who enter menopause naturally as those who have hysterectomies or ovary removal, said Dhananjay Vaidya, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and leader of the study published.
Results of the study appeared in the October issue of the journal Menopause.
The researchers said previous studies only found a link in white women. Hispanic and African American women enter menopause earlier than white women, the Hopkins researchers said.
Vaidya said doctors should closely monitor women who enter menopause early to help prevent stroke and heart disease.