Study shows smoking triggers early menopause in some women

18 October 2011

Referring to a new study, Reuters reports that women who smoke may become menopausal up to a year earlier than non smokers.

Collating figures from surveys of nearly 6,000 women from Turkey, Poland, Iran, and the United States, the University of Hong Kong study also links early menopause to the risk of developing bone diseases and heart conditions.

Reuters observes on the basis of the research findings that women who do not smoke usually have their menopause between 46 and 51, while women who smoke hit menopause by the time they reach 50. The outcomes of the study clearly confirm earlier claims that “smoking is significantly associated with earlier (age at menopause)”, warns one of the researchers involved in the study, advising all women to quit smoking for good.

On assessing five previous studies that set a cut-off age for early and late menopause as 50 and 51 respectively, the study authors concluded that those who did not quit smoking were 43% more likely to suffer from early menopause compared to the women who never smoked. Even though it’s not healthy to have the menopause outside the expected age range, early menopause entails a higher number of risks than late menopause, notes Reuters.

In an email to the London-based news agency, lead study author Volodymyr Dvornyk said hitting menopause earlier than normal can cause several health complications, including heart conditions, osteoporosis, obesity, type-2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The team of experts recommends that women should quit smoking to steer clear of these risks.

New York-based epidemiologist Jennie Kline says smoking can impact women in two ways both of which could interfere with the menopausal cycle. First, smoking can determine how the body deals with oestrogen and second, some elements present in tobacco smoke can terminate eggs, she says, advising all women to stop smoking to ensure general well-being.

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