Washington: Women who experience early menopause are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than women whose menopause occurs at a later age, according to a new study.Melissa Wellons, M.D., assistant professor of Medicine in the Vanderbilt Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism said the finding is especially important because cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in U.S. women.She conducted the research while working at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.“My hope is that getting this message out will motivate women with early menopause to engage in the lifestyle and medical strategies known to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease — like controlling cholesterol, blood pressure and excess weight and by exercising,” Wellons said.The study looked at 2,509 women enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA), with 693 reporting either surgical or natural early menopause before age 46. Women with early menopause were more often smokers, had diabetes and had a higher average BMI.
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