Diabetes contributes to early menopause


Women with diabetes are more susceptible to early menopause, according to a study presented at the North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting.

In a recent study presented at the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Annual Meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia, investigators found that the earlier women are diagnosed with diabetes, the more likely they are to enter menopause early.

Incidence of type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes has continuously grown over the years, according to the presentation. Because of this, women, now more than ever, are estimated to spend more of their reproductive lives living with diabetes.

Previous studies, according to investigators, have assessed the risks associated with diabetes postmenopause. However, in the study presented at NAMS, more than 11,000 women were examined to better understand the long-term effects of premenopause diabetes, and its effect on their reproductive health, as well as their age at natural menopause.

In the study, researchers discovered that the earlier women were diagnosed with both type 1 (<30 years old) and type 2 diabetes (30 to 39 years old) were linked with earlier onset of menopause than women without diabetes.

"Our large retrospective cohort study shows that, even after adjusting for covariates associated with age at natural menopause, we still find an association between early diagnosis of diabetes and earlier menopause and a later diabetes diagnosis with a later age at menopause as compared to those who did not have diabetes,” said Vrati Mehra, MD, University of Toronto, lead author of the study.

She added, “We hope our work lays the foundation for more research in this area so we can better understand and prevent the long-term impacts of diabetes on the human body and the reproductive system.”

The study results also demonstrated that the later age of diagnosis of type 2 diabetes (> 40 years old) was linked to later age at natural menopause vs those without diabetes. Moreover, there was no significant association found between gestational diabetes and age at menopause.

"This research adds to the growing evidence relative to the collective toll diabetes takes on the human body. In this case, it shows that young women living with a diagnosis of diabetes are more susceptible to accelerated ovarian aging and early menopause," said Stephanie Faubion, MD, MBA, NAMS medical director.


Mehra V. Women with Diabetes at an Early Age Likely to Enter Menopause Early. Presented at: North American Menopause Society Annual Meeting. October 12-15, Atlanta, Georgia.

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