BACKGROUND: The mechanisms linking menopausal age and heart failure (HF) incidence are controversial. We investigated for heterogeneity by obesity on the relationship between menopausal age and HF incidence. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using postmenopausal women who attended the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study Visit 4, we estimated hazard ratios of incident HF associated with menopausal age using Cox proportional hazards models, testing for effect modification by obesity and adjusting for HF risk factors. Women were categorized by menopausal age: <45 years, 45 to 49 years, 50 to 54 years, and ≥55 years. Among 4441 postmenopausal women, aged 63.5±5.5 years, there were 903 incident HF events over a mean follow-up of 16.5 years. The attributable risk of generalized and central obesity for HF incidence was greatest among women who experienced menopause at age ≥55 years: 11.09/1000 person-years and 7.38/1000 person-years, respectively. There were significant interactions of menopausal age with body mass index and waist circumference for HF incidence, Pinteraction 0.02 and 0.001, respectively. The hazard ratios of incident HF for a SD increase in body mass index was elevated in women with menopausal age <45 years [1.39 (1.05–1.84)]; 45–49 years [1.33, (1.06–1.67)]; and ≥55 years [2.02, (1.41–2.89)]. The hazard ratio of incident HF for a SD increase in waist circumference was elevated only in women with menopausal age ≥55 years [2.93, (1.85–4.65)]. CONCLUSIONS: As obesity worsened, the risk of developing HF became significantly greater when compared with women with lower body mass index and waist circumference, particularly among those who had experienced menopause at age ≥55 years.
- heart failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine