HealthDay News — Early menarche in women is associated with worse cardiovascular health, according to a study published online Sept. 7 in Menopause.

Yi Zheng, M.P.H., from the University of Florida in Gainesville, and colleagues used data from the 1999 to 2016 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess cardiovascular health by age at menarche.

The researchers found that of the 20,447 women included, 11.2 percent had ideal cardiovascular health. Significantly worse cardiovascular health was observed among women with early menarche when adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, education, poverty income ratio, marital status, and birth year (odds ratio [OR], 0.70). The association between early menarche and cardiovascular health only held for those aged 25 to 34 years (OR, 0.72). Those with late menarche had higher odds of ideal cardiovascular health (OR, 1.40), which was consistent across age groups: ages 25 to 34 years (OR, 1.64) or 35 to 44 years (OR, 1.73).

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“Our findings further highlighted that age at menarche may be used to identify high-risk [populations] and to guide targeted preventions to maintain and improve cardiovascular health,” the authors write.

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