Girls who get their first period before age 12 are at increased risk of heart disease and stroke in adulthood, reveals a recent study.
The findings also revealed that it increases the risk of early menopause, complications of pregnancy and hysterectomy, which seem to be associated with the subsequent cardiovascular disease.
The results indicated that the women, who had periods before the age of 12 were at 10 percent greater risk of cardiovascular disease than those who had been 13 or older when they started.
Researchers from the UK Biobank, a large population based study of more than half a million men and women up to the age of 69 were recruited between 2006 and 2010.
The participants filled in questionnaires on their lifestyle, environment and medical history, which included a wide range of reproductive factors.
They also took tests to assess their physical and functional health and provided urine, blood and saliva samples.
In all, the health of 2,67,440 women and 2,15,088 men – none of whom had cardiovascular disease when they entered the study – was tracked up to March 2016 or until they had their first heart attack or stroke.
The average age of the women at the start of the study was 56 and the age at which they started having periods was 13.
The results indicated that one in four of the women had miscarried and 3 percent had had a stillbirth.
Nearly two thirds of them had gone through the menopause, at an average age of 50.
During a monitoring period spanning around 7 years, 9054 cases of cardiovascular disease were recorded, a third (34 percent) of which were in women with 5,782 cases of coronary artery disease and 3,489 cases of stroke.
Similarly, those who went through the menopause early (before the age of 47) had a 33 percent heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, rising to 42 percent for their risk of stroke, after taking account of other potentially influential factors.