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Type 2 diabetes linked to early menopause

Photo: Early menopause linked to type 2 diabetes
Women who reach menopause before the age of 40 are nearly four times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

The younger a woman is when reaching menopause the greater their risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D), research suggests.

A study of almost 4000 women in the Netherlands found women who reached menopause before the age of 40 were nearly four times as likely to develop the chronic disease as those women who reach menopause at 55 or older.

The risk of developing diabetes fell by four per cent for every year a woman aged before reaching menopause.

Compared with women having late menopause, those with menopause at 40-44 years were 2.4 times more likely to develop T2D.
"Early onset of ANM (natural menopause) is an independent marker for T2D in postmenopausal women," wrote lead author Dr Taulant Muka and colleagues at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.

The results were published journal Diabetologia.

While a cause is not known, the researchers suggest "defective DNA repair and maintenance" could be to blame.

"Future studies are needed to examine the mechanisms behind this association and explore whether timing of natural menopause has any added value in diabetes prediction and prevention," they wrote.

Menopause is considered when a woman has stopped menstruating for at least 12 months and can be a sign of advanced ageing.

Previous research has found women with early menopause were at increased risk of heart disease and premature death.

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