Objective: To conduct a survival analysis according to age at natural menopause (NM) in a representative sample of elderly women from the municipality of São Paulo, Brazil.
Study design: We analyzed data from the Health, Well-Being and Aging study (SABE), a cohort that started in 2000. Mortality data up to September 2016 were obtained by linkage from the Program for Mortality Information of São Paulo (PRO-AIM).
Main outcome measures: We used Cox regression to analyze all-cause and cause-specific mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases and cancer, according to age at menopause, categorized as <40, 41-44, 45-49, 50-54 (reference) and ≥55.
Results: After 16 years of follow-up, there were 444 deaths, of which 199 were from cardiovascular diseases, 73 from respiratory diseases and 65 from cancer. After adjustment for socioeconomic, reproductive and lifestyle factors, having an early menopause (at age 41-44) was associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR = 1.48, 95% IC: 1.03, 2.14) relative to NM at 50-54 years. Women aged 41-44 and 45-49 at NM had twice the risk of cancer mortality of the reference group. We did not find significant associations between age at NM and cause-specific mortality for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that early menopause is associated with all-cause mortality in the largest city of Latin America. In addition, earlier age at NM was associated with cancer mortality. These results suggest that age at NM may be a biomarker for mortality, irrespective of country of residence.
Keywords: Aging; Cancer; Cardiovascular; Menopause; Mortality.
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