Women who started menstruating at the age of 11 or younger, or entered menopause before 47, face a higher risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a study published Tuesday.
Miscarriage, stillbirth, undergoing a hysterectomy, and bearing children at a young age were also associated with elevated odds of cardiovascular problems later in life, researchers found.
The additional risk varied from only a few percentage points to more than 40 percent, they reported in the journal Heart.
The findings are not the first to uncover a link between reproductive factors and cardiovascular diseases, and the data do not show a causal relationship, the authors cautioned.
But their findings do strengthen the association, and suggest that women with premature reproductive cycles or a history of adverse events should be frequently screened for heart trouble and conditions leading to blood clots.