Age at menopause predicts risk for chronic diseases

  • Xu X & al.
  • Hum Reprod
  • 20/01/2020

  • Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Younger age at menopause is associated with increased risk for multimorbidity.

Why this matters

  • Women may spend up to one-third of their lives in menopause.
  • During the menopause transition, chronic health conditions may develop, so this stage represents an important screening time for health changes and nutritional and lifestyle counseling.

Key results

  • More than half of the women experienced multimorbidity in their postmenopausal lives.
  • Premature menopause, compared with natural menopause, was associated with increased odds for multimorbidity: aOR, 1.98 (95% CI, 1.31-2.98).

Study design

  • Prospective cohort study.
  • Cohort was taken from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), an ongoing population-based cohort study of factors affecting the health and well-being of Australian women (n=5107).
  • Outcomes of interest were 11 chronic conditions (diabetes, COPD, depression, anxiety, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, and breast cancer).
  • Surveys were used to determine menopausal status.
  • Funding: ALSWH is supported by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Limitations

  • Relied on self-reported information.