- For women, a short reproductive lifespan (
Why this matters
- Results of previous large studies and meta-analyses have been mixed in terms of the association between CVD event risk or mortality and age at menarche or menopause or reproductive lifespan.
- These authors used individual-level data for more than 300,000 women, pooled from 12 studies.
- Data for 307,855 women included.
- Averages (standard deviations), in years:
- Age at menarche: 13.0 (1.5).
- Age at menopause: 50.2 (4.4).
- Reproductive lifespan: 37.2 (4.6).
- Adjusted HR for incident CVD event:
- Reproductive lifespan
- This risk decreased to 1.26 (95% CI, 1.09-1.46) when adjusted for age at menopause, suggesting that this age is an important factor.
- Very early (≤10 years) or late (≥16 years) menarche was associated with similarly increased CVD risk.
- Menopause after age 55 years was linked to reduced CVD risk.
- Women who had both a shorter reproductive lifespan and early menarche (≤11 vs 13 years) had doubled risk for a CVD event:
- HR, 2.06 (95% CI, 1.76-2.41).
- Studies from the International Collaboration for a Life Course Approach to Reproductive Health and Chronic Disease Events consortium.
- Funding: Australian National Health and Medical Research Council; others.
- Mostly recall-based reproductive data.
- CVD events largely based on self-report.