Menopause typically occurs in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but the exact age of onset varies; the average age in the US is about 51. Ellen Gold, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Davis, says that “the age of menopause is a marker for what happens later in terms of chronic disease risk and mortality.” Women who have a later onset of menopause have, on average, a longer life expectancy and lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. On the flip side, they have a higher risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.
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