A new study warns women who experience early menopause have a very high risk of developing serious health issues in their 60s.These women are three times more likely to be prone to multimorbidity than those who go through menopause in when they turn 50. The study was conducted bt a team from the Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Research at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
For the study,researchers examined data of5107 women between the ages of 45 and 50 in Australia.In surveys conducted every three years from 1996, participants answered a host of questions about their health. One of the questions was whether or not they were treated for heath problems listed in the survey.
"We found that 71% of women with premature menopause had developed multimorbidity by the age of 60 compared with 55% of women who experienced menopause at the age of 50-51. In addition, 45% of women with premature menopause had developed multimorbidity in their 60s compared with 40% of women who experienced menopause at the age of 50-51," Dr Xiaolin Xu, who conducted the research as part of his PhD thesis at the University of Queensland and is currently a research professor at Zhejiang University, China, told a news portal.
Previous studies have found links between early menopause and medical conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, researchers have yet to discover if there is a link between natural time of menopause and multimorbidity.
"Our findings indicate that multimorbidity is common in mid-aged and early-elderly women. Premature menopause is associated with an increased risk of developing multimorbidity, even after adjusting for previous chronic conditions and for possible factors that could affect the results, such as whether or not the women had children, how many, education, body mass index, smoking and physical activity," study senior author Professor Gita Mishra, director of the Centre, told a news portal.
Dr Xu further explained: "We also found that premature menopause is associated with a higher incidence of individual chronic conditions."
Researchers hope to further investigate this association as this is only the first study to explore how premature menopause could increase the risk of multimorbidity in women. "Our findings suggest that health professionals should consider providing comprehensive screening and assessment of risk factors when treating women who experience natural premature menopause in order to assess their risk of multimorbidity," Professor Mishra told a news portal. Adding, "Our findings also highlight that multimorbidity should be considered as a clinical and public health priority when policy-makers are considering how to control and prevent chronic health problems in women."
The study's findings were originally published in Human Reproduction.
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