Early menopause triples risk of chronic disease and multimorbidity


  • Dawn O'Shea
  • Univadis Medical News
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Women who experience premature menopause are almost three times more likely to develop individual chronic conditions and multimorbidity, according to a study published in Human Reproduction, the journal of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

The prospective national cohort study included 5,107 women reporting age at natural menopause (ANM). Of these, 2.3 per cent experienced premature menopause (≤40 years) and 55.1 per cent developed multimorbidity.

Compared with women who experienced menopause at age 50-51 years, women with premature menopause had twice the odds of experiencing multimorbidity by age 60 years (OR 1.98; 95% CI 1.31-2.98) and three times the odds of developing multimorbidity in their 60s (OR 3.03; 95% CI 1.62-5.64).

Women with premature menopause also experienced higher incidence of most individual chronic conditions. The risk of stroke and heart disease were 77 and 68 per cent, respectively in women with ANM at 41-45 compared to those with AMN at 51-55. The risk of breast cancer was increased by more than half and the risk for osteoporosis was 40 per cent higher.

The authors say the findings should encourage health professionals to consider comprehensive screening and assessment of risk factors for multimorbidity when treating women with premature menopause.