‘ Women who be­gin menopause early de­velop di­a­betes’

The Asian Age - - Science+ Health -

Thes­sa­loniki: Women who be­gin the menopause be­fore turn­ing 40 are 50 per cent more likely to de­velop type 2 di­a­betes, a study claims. Re­searchers also found women who stop hav­ing pe­ri­ods be­fore 45 are 15 per cent more at risk than women who en­ter the menopause at the “nor­mal” age. The av­er­age age for the start of the menopause is 51 in the UK and US but thou­sands be­gin the nat­u­ral process as early as 40. Greek sci­en­tists be­lieve a drop in the hor­mones oe­stro­gen and pro­ges­terone dur­ing the menopause may re­duce in­sulin pro­duc­tion. Type 2 di­a­betes oc­curs when the body stops mak­ing in­sulin or no longer re­sponds to the hor­mone that is pro­duced. Aris­to­tle Univer­sity of Thes­sa­loniki re­searchers an­a­lysed 13 stud­ies with a to­tal of 191,762 post­menopausal women, of which 21,664 had type 2 di­a­betes. “This is the first meta- anal­y­sis to show both early menopause and pre­ma­ture ovar­ian fail­ure are linked with in­creased risk of type 2 di­a­betes,” lead au­thor Dr Pana­gi­o­tis Anag­nos­tis said. “Women who ex­pe­ri­ence early menopause should be es­pe­cially vig­i­lant about eat­ing healthily and ex­er­cis­ing to help re­duce their risk of de­vel­op­ing di­a­betes.” The study was pre­sented at the Euro­pean As­so­ci­a­tion for the Study of Di­a­betes con­fer­ence in Berlin. Al­though the link be­tween the menopause and type 2 di­a­betes is un­clear, pre­vi­ous re­search sug­gests oe­stro­gen pro­tects the in­sulin- mak­ing cells in the pan­creas. Dr El­iz­a­beth Robert­son, direc­tor of re­search at Di­a­betes UK, said: “This re­search doesn’t prove that early menopause can cause type 2 di­a­betes, but it sug­gests that when it hap­pens, it could be a fac­tor to watch out for.”

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