Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States.
Heart disease and strokes combine to account for one in three female deaths.
But there are warning signs that women can watch for.
Women who undergo menopause before age 46 are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or a stroke as those who go through menopause later.
That’s the alarming news from a study published in Menopause Online.
The authors examined the medical record of more than 2500 women, including white, black, Hispanic, and Chinese subjects.
3.3 percent of the women who had early menopause suffered a heart attack or cardiac arrest or died from heart disease, compared to 1.6 percent who had menopause later.
And 2.6 percent of the early menopause group had a stroke during the study, compared to 1 percent of the others.
The authors say the link between early menopause and disease is not clear, though there’s no evidence that replacement hormones lower the danger.
Doctors say women at risk should keep their cholesterol and blood pressure in check.