Racial and regional differences in age at menopause in the United States: Findings from the REasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study

Katherine K. McKnight, Melissa F. Wellons, Cynthia K. Sites, David L. Roth, Jeff M. Szychowski, Jewell H. Halanych, Mary Cushman, Monika M. Safford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVE: We sought to examine regional and black-white differences in mean age at self-reported menopause among communitydwelling women in the United States. STUDY DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional survey conducted in the context of the REasons for Geographic And Racial Differences in Stroke and Myocardial Infarction study. RESULTS: We studied 22,484 menopausal women. After controlling for covariates, Southern women reported menopause 10.8 months earlier than Northeastern women, 8.4 months earlier than Midwestern women, and 6.0 months earlier than Western women (P<.05 for all). No difference was observed in menopausal age between black and white women after controlling for covariates (P=.69). CONCLUSION: Women in the South report earlier menopause than those in other regions, but the cause remains unclear. Our study's large sample size and adjustment for multiple confounders lends weight to our finding of no racial difference in age at menopause. More study is needed of the implications of these findings with regard to vascular health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353.e1-353.e8
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011



  • Menopause
  • Race
  • Region

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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