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Do your menstrual cycles last less than 21 days or more than 35 days? According to a new Chinese study, your cardiovascular risk is probably higher than average.

In theory, a woman’s menstrual cycle lasts 28 days – this is the period from the first day of your period until the first day of your next period. Except that the reality can be very different: in practice, the duration of the menstrual cycle varies between 21 and 45 days, according to the women and according to the moments of life.

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But beware: according to a new study by researchers at Southern Medical University (in China), an abnormally long or abnormally short menstrual cycle could be a cardiovascular risk factor.

An increased risk of heart disease or atrial fibrillation

To reach this conclusion, the Chinese researchers followed for a dozen years more than 58,000 women aged 46 on average at the start of the study. Result ? They found that women with menstrual cycles shorter than 21 days or longer than 35 days were more likely than others to develop heart disease during their lifetime (an increased risk of around 19%).

These women also had a greater risk of suffering from atrial fibrillation (+ 40%): this heart rhythm disorder is characterized by chaotic electrical activity in the upper part of the heart – we also speak of atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is not to be taken lightly since it notably increases the risk of stroke.

Note: according to the researchers, women with abnormally short menstrual cycles (less than 21 days) present a greater cardiovascular risk than women with abnormally long menstrual cycles (more than 35 days). This work could improve the prevention of cardiac and cardiovascular pathologies in women.

Source :Journal of the American Heart Association

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