Menopausal Age, Obesity Links to Heart Failure Explored

Attributable risk of generalized and central obesity for heart failure incidence greatest among women with menopausal age of 55 years or older

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WEDNESDAY, April 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The risk for heart failure is increased with increasing body mass index and waist circumference, especially for those with menopausal age 55 years or older, according to a study published online April 13 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Imo A. Ebong, M.D., from the University of California Davis in Sacramento, and colleagues estimated the hazard ratios of incident heart failure associated with menopausal age using models testing for effect modification by obesity and adjusting for heart failure risk factors. Postmenopausal women were classified by age at menopause (younger than 45, 45 to 49, 50 to 54, and 55 years or older).

The researchers identified 903 incident heart failure events among 4,441 postmenopausal women during a mean follow-up of 16.5 years. Women who experienced menopause at age 55 years or older had the greatest attributable risk for generalized and central obesity for heart failure incidence: 11.09 and 7.38 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. Significant interactions were seen for menopausal age with body mass index and waist circumference for heart failure incidence. For a standard deviation increase in body mass index, the hazard ratios of incident heart failure were increased in women with menopausal age younger than 45, 45 to 49, and 55 years or older (hazard ratios, 1.39, 1.33, and 2.02, respectively). For a standard deviation increase in waist circumference, the hazard ratio of incident heart failure was elevated only in women with menopausal age of 55 years or older (hazard ratio, 2.93).

"Women with late menopause should be particularly counseled to maintain a healthy body weight and prevent obesity to decrease their risk of future heart failure," Ebong said in a statement.

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