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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1981 Jan;139(1):47-51.

Early menopause and the risk of myocardial infarction.


We evaluated the relation between age at menopause and the risk of nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) among 121,964 nurses who responded to a mail questionnaire. Of 279 women who reported having been hospitalized for MI, 123 (44%) were postmenopausal (i.e., no longer menstruating) at the time of hospitalization, compared with 1,859 (33%) of 5,580 age-matched control subjects. Among women who became menopausal because of bilateral oophorectomy, the estimated relative risk of MI increased with decreasing age at menopause, and women who underwent bilateral oophorectomy before age 35 were estimated to have a risk of hospitalization for MI approximately 7.2 times (95% confidence interval, 4.5 to 11.4) that of premenopausal women. Hysterectomy without the removal of both ovaries was only weakly associated with an increased risk. The data support the hypothesis that premature cessation of ovarian function increases the risk of nonfatal MI.

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