Objective: This study aims to evaluate the associations of early menopause (menopause occurring before age 45 years) and age at menopause with incident heart failure (HF) in postmenopausal women. We also explored the associations of early menopause and age at menopause with left ventricular (LV) measures of structure and function in postmenopausal women.
Methods: We included 2,947 postmenopausal women, aged 45 to 84 years without known cardiovascular disease (2000-2002), from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the associations of early menopause and age at menopause with incident HF. In 2,123 postmenopausal women in whom cardiac magnetic resonance imaging was obtained at baseline, we explored the associations of early menopause and age at menopause with LV measures using multivariable linear regression.
Results: Across a median follow-up of 8.5 years, we observed 71 HF events. There were no significant interactions with ethnicity for incident HF (Pinteraction > 0.05). In adjusted analysis, early menopause was associated with an increased risk of incident HF (hazard ratio, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.01-2.73), whereas every 1-year increase in age at menopause was associated with a decreased risk of incident HF (hazard ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.94-0.99). We observed significant interactions between early menopause and ethnicity for LV mass-to-volume ratio (LVMVR; Pinteraction = 0.02). In Chinese-American women, early menopause was associated with a higher LVMVR (+0.11; P = 0.0002), whereas every 1-year increase in age at menopause was associated with a lower LVMVR (−0.004; P = 0.04) at baseline.
Conclusions: Older age at menopause is independently associated with a decreased risk of incident HF. Concentric LV remodeling, indicated by a higher LVMVR, is present in Chinese-American women who experienced early menopause at baseline.