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Int J Epidemiol. 2009 Feb;38(1):245-52. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyn251.

Age at menarche, total mortality and mortality from ischaemic heart disease and stroke: the Adventist Health Study, 1976-88.

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1
Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø, Norway. bjarne.jacobsen@ism.uit.no

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Little is known about the relationship between age at menarche and total mortality and mortality from ischaemic heart disease and stroke.

METHODS:

A cohort study of 19 462 Californian Seventh-Day Adventist women followed-up from 1976 to 1988. A total of 3313 deaths occurred during follow-up, of which 809 were due to ischaemic heart disease and 378 due to stroke.

RESULTS:

An early menarche was associated with increased total mortality (P-value for linear trend <0.001), ischaemic heart disease (P-value for linear trend = 0.01) and stroke (P-value for linear trend = 0.02) mortality. There were, however, also some indications of an increased ischaemic heart disease mortality in women aged 16-18 at menarche (5% of the women). When assessed as a linear relationship, a 1-year delay in menarche was associated with 4.5% (95% CI 2.3-6.7) lower total mortality. The association was stronger for ischaemic heart disease [6.0% (95% CI 1.2-10.6)] and stroke [8.6% (95% CI 1.6-15.1)] mortality.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results suggest that there is a linear, inverse relationship between age at menarche and total mortality as well as with ischaemic heart disease and stroke mortality.

PMID:
19188208
PMCID:
PMC2722816
DOI:
10.1093/ije/dyn251
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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