J Am Heart Assoc. 2023 Nov 10:e030117. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.123.030117. Online ahead of print.
Background Mortality from cardiovascular diseases in Asian populations is considerable. Menopause is a risk-enhancing factor for cardiovascular disease, but it is unclear whether menopause is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality in Asian women. Methods and Results A total of 1 159 405 postmenopausal women, who had participated in the health examinations of the Korean National Health Insurance Service in 2009, were analyzed, and their reproductive histories were taken. A multivariable Cox proportional hazard model assessed the hazard ratios (HRs) of myocardial infarction (MI), ischemic stroke, and all-cause mortality, according to the history of premature menopause and age at menopause. After an average 10-year follow-up, there were 31 606, 45 052, and 77 680 new cases of MI, ischemic stroke, and all-cause mortality, respectively. The women with premature menopause exhibited increased risks of MI (HR, 1.40 [95% CI, 1.31-1.50]), ischemic stroke (HR, 1.24 [95% CI, 1.17-1.31]), and all-cause mortality (HR, 1.19 [95% CI, 1.14-1.24]) when compared with women with menopause aged ≥50 years. The highest risk was evident with menopause between the ages of 30 and 34 years (HR for MI, 1.52 [95% CI, 1.30-1.78]; HR for ischemic stroke, 1.29 [95% CI, 1.12-1.48]; HR for all-cause mortality, 1.33 [95% CI, 1.20-1.47]) when compared with women with menopause aged ≥50 years. Conclusions Earlier age at menopause was associated with increased risks for MI, ischemic stroke, and all-cause mortality. Future guidelines and risk assessment tools should consider menopause as an independent risk factor of cardiovascular disease in Korean women.