Smoking linked to earlier menopause

5 August 2015

A Swedish study has found that the dangers of heavy smoking may be even more pronounced in menopausal women.

It is already known that going through the menopause at a younger age is connected to greater overall mortality. Previous research showed that women who experience the menopause at 40 tend to die 1.3 years early than those who go through it at 60.

By looking at data from 25,474 women, researchers linked smoking to early menopause, and found that women who had given up smoking or had never smoked had a median age of death two and a half years higher than that of current smokers.

So far, smoking is the only environmental factor that has been connected to age of menopause. When looking at only current smokers, the difference in median age of death between those who are menopausal at 40 and at 60 goes up significantly, from 1.3 years to 2.6.

This suggests that smoking compounds the negative effects of oestrogen deficiency on women with early menopauses, and that it may be possible for women to delay the menopause by giving up smoking.

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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