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Reproductive health factors associated with risk of death in women

A better understanding of how reproductive factors influence long-term health could help practitioners develop strategies to improve women’s health, say Imperial College London researchers.

Their analysis of 322,972 women from ten European countries found that reproductive factors in women, such as menstruation, having children, and use of oral contraceptives, are associated with a reduced risk of death.

Picture credit: iStock

The researchers found the risk of death from cancer was lower in women who had given birth compared with those who had not, and women who gave birth to two or three children had a lower risk of death than those who gave birth to just one.

They also found a reduced risk of death in women who had breastfed compared with those who had not, and in women who started menstruating age 15 or older compared with those who started when they were under 12 years.

Women who had ever taken oral contraceptives provided they were non-smokers or former smokers were less likely to die from cancer than

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Their analysis of 322,972 women from ten European countries found that reproductive factors in women, such as menstruation, having children, and use of oral contraceptives, are associated with a reduced risk of death.

Picture credit: iStock

The researchers found the risk of death from cancer was lower in women who had given birth compared with those who had not, and women who gave birth to two or three children had a lower risk of death than those who gave birth to just one.

They also found a reduced risk of death in women who had breastfed compared with those who had not, and in women who started menstruating age 15 or older compared with those who started when they were under 12 years.

Women who had ever taken oral contraceptives – provided they were non-smokers or former smokers – were less likely to die from cancer than those who had not. A link was also seen between women who had given birth and breastfed and a reduced risk of death from ischaemic heart disease.

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