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Early menopause linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes

​Women with early or normal onset menopause are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with late onset menopause, according to researchers, who say more studies are needed to see if the timing of natural menopause can help in diabetes prediction and prevention.

Women with early or normal onset menopause are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with late onset menopause, according to researchers, who say more studies are needed to see if the timing of natural menopause can help in diabetes prediction and prevention

diabetes
Women with early or normal onset menopause are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes,
a study shows. Picture: iStock

Women with early or normal onset menopause are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those with late onset menopause, according to new research.

Previous research by the authors of the study, published in Diabetologia, showed that women with early onset menopause, below 45 years old, have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality.

The researchers at Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands analysed the association between age at natural menopause and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

They used data from the Rotterdam study, a population-based study in which participants had examinations every three to five years.  

Marker

The study showed that of the 3,639 women without diabetes at baseline, 348 developed incident type 2 diabetes over a median follow-up of 9.2 years.

Compared with women experiencing late menopause at 55 or later, those with the earliest menopause aged under 40 were almost four times more likely to have developed type 2 diabetes.

The authors concluded: ‘Early onset of natural menopause is an independent marker for type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women.

‘Future studies are needed to examine the mechanisms behind this association and explore whether timing of natural menopause has any added value in diabetes prediction and prevention.’


Muka T et al (2017) Age at natural menopause and risk of type 2 diabetes: a prospective cohort study. Diabetologia. doi: 10.1007/s00125-017-4346-8.

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