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Underweight teenagers likely to have early menopause

News Agencies | Updated on: 26 October 2017, 14:06 IST

A recent study has warned that females who are underweight in their teenage years or mid 30s are likely to have early menopause.

The study said that women, who lost 20 pounds (9 Kg) or more at least thrice during 18 to 30 years, were significantly at increased risk of an early menopause that is before the age of 45.

Lead researcher Dr Kathleen Szegda from the University of Massachusetts, the US said underweight women may want to consider discussing the potential implications of these findings with their doctors.

According to researchers, women who were underweight at 18 with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 17.5 kg/m2 had a 50 percent higher risk of an early menopause.

Women with BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2 at the age of 35 had 59 percent increased risk.

The researchers looked at BMI, weight distribution, weight change and timing of menopause in 78,759 premenopausal women aged between 25-42 years who joined the US Nurses' Health Study II in 1989.

The findings suggest that women who were underweight in early or mid-adulthood were at increased risk for early menopause.

Up to 10 percent of women experienced early menopause and it is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and other health conditions such as cognitive decline, osteoporosis and premature death, so these findings have important implications for women and their doctors.

The researchers followed them until 2011 and the results indicated that 2,804 women reported early natural menopause.

They found that women who were underweight at any age (BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2) had a significant 30 percent increased risk of early menopause compared with lean or normal weight women.

The research appeared in Human Reproduction journal.


First published: 26 October 2017, 14:06 IST