Smoking can cause early onset menopause, study finds

24 October 2011

Healthcare research shows that women underestimate the connection between smoking and the onset of early menopause.

According to one health expert, there is more attention paid to health risks associated with smoking such as lung cancer and heart attacks, but there is little emphasis on the effect it has on menopause.

Charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) released a study published in the journal Menopause that showed one of the contributing factors to early menopause is often smoking.

Amanda Sandford, research manager at Ash, said: "Smoking causes heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory problems, but I'm not sure if there's been much research on women's views about the [association between smoking and menopause]."

She added that the findings by Ash add to earlier studies which suggested there is a link between the two.

A further study published in the journal Meta-analysis suggested that smoking is associated with an increased risk of early natural menopause, analysed the connections between ages of menopause onset between smokers and non-smokers and found that the former stopped menstruation earlier.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Sun Lu, et al., "Meta-analysis suggests that smoking is associated with an increased risk of early natural menopause", Menopause, 19 September 2011.

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