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Schuster, Verena; Eggersmann, Tanja K.; Eifert, Sandra; Ueberfuhr, Peter; Zugenmaier, Brita; Kolben, Theresa M.; Thaler, Christian J.; Kublickiene, Karolina; Rieger, Anna; Reichart, Bruno; Hagl, Christian; Pichlmaier, Maximilian A. and Guethoff, Sonja (2016): Ascending Aortic Disease is Associated with Earlier Menopause and Shorter Reproductive Life Span. In: Journal of Womens Health, Vol. 25, No. 9: pp. 912-919

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Objectives: The incidence of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in premenopausal women is comparatively low, but increases sharply after menopause. The principal aim of this study was to determine whether women with ascending aortic disease (AAD) have a different reproductive history from that of an age-matched control group. Methods: In this retrospective study, women who had undergone ascending aortic aneurysm (AscAA) repair between 2000 and 2010 were asked to complete a questionnaire concerning risk factors and reproductive history. Data from 142 women with AAD were evaluated, and a subgroup (n = 64) with AscAA >= 5 cm was analyzed and compared to an age-matched random control group without known aortic diseases. Results: Almost all women were menopausal at the time of the questionnaire (98.4% vs. 90.6%, AscAA >= 5 cm subcohort vs. control, p = 0.12) and all subjects presented with a comparable age of menarche (13.7 +/- 2.6 years vs. 14.2 +/- 1.8 years, AscAA >= 5 cm subcohort vs. control, log-rank 0.04, p = 0.84). However, mean menopausal age was significantly lower in the case subcohort than in controls (48.1 +/- 4.8 years vs. 50.6 +/- 5.8 years, AscAA cm subcohort vs. control, log-rank 8.35, p = 0.004), and reproductive life span was correspondingly shorter (34.2 +/- 5.2 years vs. 36.2 +/- 5.7 years, p = 0.04). Furthermore, hypertension was more prevalent in women with AscAA cm compared to controls (89.1% vs. 61.9%, AscAA cm subcohort vs. control, p < 0.001). Conclusion: Women who experience menopause at an earlier age than the regional mean could profit from screening for cardiovascular disease in general and particularly for AAD. Screening would enable early aneurysm detection and could, therefore, reduce morbidity and mortality.

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