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Smoking linked to early menopause

Women who smoke are more likely to have early menopause, which puts them at an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease.

Smoking linked to early menopause

Women who smoke are more likely to have early menopause, which puts them at an increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease. Menopause is called early when it occurs before 45 years, and the onset of which increases the risk of developing several health problems. Researchers at the University of Oslo studied 2,123 postmenopausal women aged 59-60 years. Nearly 10 per cent of the women went through menopause before the age of 45 years. About 25 per cent were current smokers, 29 per cent were ex-smokers and 35 per cent reported current passive exposure to smoke. However, women who were smokers, but quit at least a decade before menopause, were 87 per cent less likely than current smokers to have gone into menopause before the age of 45 years. Thus, smoking later in life makes a woman more likely to have early menopause, while smokers who quit before middle age may not be affected. The researchers found that current smokers were 59 per cent more likely to have reached menopause before the age of 45 years, while early menopause was nearly double in women who smoked the most. Compared with married women, widows were also at increased risk of early menopause, as were women who said they were in poor health. More educated women were less likely to go into early menopause, but they were also less likely to be smokers. Also, high social participation decreased the risk of early menopause. However, no substantial link was found between coffee or alcohol consumption or passive exposure to smoke and early menopause risk.
BMC Public Health,
July 2007
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