Cardiovascular Disease and Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

Melissa Wellons, M.D., M.H.S.


Semin Reprod Med. 2011;29(4):328-341. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number-one killer of women. Women with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) may be more burdened by cardiovascular disease, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, as compared with women with normal menopause. The increased burden may be mediated by a worsening of cardiovascular risk factors, such as lipids, corresponding with the loss of ovarian function. In contrast, the increased burden may be caused by factors that precede and potentially contribute to both CVD events and ovarian decline, such as X-chromosome abnormalities and smoking. Regardless of the cause, women with POI may serve as an important population to target for CVD screening and prevention strategies. These strategies should include the use of CVD risk stratification tools to identify women that may benefit from lifestyle modification and pharmacological therapy to prevent CVD. Sex steroid therapy for the sole purpose of CVD prevention in women with POI cannot be recommended, based on a lack of evidence.


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