Contrary to popular belief that estrogen is a risk factor for stroke at all ages, researchers found that the sex hormone actually may prevent strokes in premature or early menopausal women. For the research, published in the journal Menopause, Mayo Clinic scientists analyzed seven other studies to determine how premature or early menopause is associated with stroke.
They found that women who had their ovaries removed before age 50 were more likely to suffer a stroke than women who did not have a bilateral oophorectomy before age 50. But hormone therapy seemed to lower the increased stroke risk for the first group of women, suggesting that a lack of estrogen is linked to the greater risk.
In addition, the age of menopause onset was more important to stroke risk than whether menopause was natural or induced, with earlier onset menopause connected to higher stroke risk.