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04-04-2012 | Cardiology | Article

No link between menopause and AF

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Menopausal age is not significantly associated with risk for atrial fibrillation (AF), shows a subanalysis of the Framingham Heart Study.

"Although we did not observe a significant association between menopausal age and AF risk, studies in larger cohorts may have increased power to explore such a potential association," write Jared Magnani (Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, USA) and co-workers.

Early menopausal age has previously been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events including myocardial infarction, stroke, and increased mortality, but the relationship between menopausal age and AF has not been investigated until now, explain the authors.

They analyzed the data of 1809 women enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study who were at least 60 years of age, and without prevalent AF. All of the women had undergone natural menopause (natural cessation of menses for ≥1 year) and were followed up for 10 years or until AF occurred.

Menopausal age was categorized as: less than 45, 45-53, and over 53 years.

Over the follow-up period, 273 incident AF events occurred. There was no significant association between the standard deviation of menopausal age and AF risk.

Multivariate analysis including established risk factors for AF also showed that menopausal age was not significantly associated with AF.

In categorical comparison analysis, early menopausal age (<45 years) was not significantly associated with increased AF risk compared with older menopausal age (>53 years) or a menopausal age of 45-53 years.

"AF carries tremendous social and medical burdens, and the number of older adults in the United States continues to increase," write the authors in the American Heart Journal.

Therefore, although their study rules out an association between menopausal age and AF risk, "identification of [other] novel risk factors will serve public health efforts by enhancing risk stratification and prevention initiatives," they conclude.

By Piriya Mahendra

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