Breaking News
January 20, 2018 - Morning Break: Missing Maria Deaths; N.J. Doc Charged in Wife’s Murder; Viva Vaseline!
January 20, 2018 - No interventions proven to prevent late-life dementia
January 20, 2018 - Judge orders new Olympus trial over superbug death
January 20, 2018 - Don’t Rely on Just One Blood Pressure Test for Kids: Study
January 20, 2018 - Going Off the Deep End About Water
January 20, 2018 - Parental attention can reduce risk of drug abuse in adolescence
January 20, 2018 - Mast Uri System offers efficient and cost-friendly diagnostic solution
January 20, 2018 - International SOS, Chatham House sign partnership agreement to further advance Global Health Security Agenda
January 20, 2018 - Study offers way to predict onset of lung disease in children with cystic fibrosis
January 20, 2018 - C-Suite Must Lead in Ending Sexual Harassment
January 20, 2018 - Researchers find a way to ‘starve’ cancer
January 20, 2018 - Applied math can help predict genesis and evolution of different cancers
January 20, 2018 - UCLA researchers describe herpes virus structure associated with Kaposi’s sarcoma
January 20, 2018 - New study enrolls first patient to evaluate potential of WaveCrest LAAO System
January 20, 2018 - New review explores effects of exposing developing brains to general anesthesia
January 20, 2018 - GW Pharmaceuticals Announces Acceptance of NDA Filing for Epidiolex (cannabidiol) in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome
January 20, 2018 - Weight-Loss Surgery Approaches Offer Similar Results
January 20, 2018 - Free online access to millions of documents on chemical toxicity
January 20, 2018 - CE marked MAST Toxoreagent kit for detection of Toxoplasma antibodies
January 20, 2018 - DNA study sheds light on longstanding puzzle of cell division
January 20, 2018 - Montefiore provides specialized medical care to parents of adopted children
January 20, 2018 - Enzyme discovery provides new horizon of therapeutic opportunities across disease spectrum
January 20, 2018 - New smartphone app successfully enables remote monitoring of surgical wounds
January 20, 2018 - Liquid Biopsy Shows Promise for Colon Cancer
January 20, 2018 - Surgery death rates in Africa are twice global average: study
January 20, 2018 - New isothermal amplification kit using LAMP technology
January 20, 2018 - Pretreatment improves outcomes in high-risk stage 3 melanoma, study shows
January 20, 2018 - Health Highlights: Jan. 17, 2018
January 20, 2018 - House Opioid Task Force has Big Plans for 2018
January 20, 2018 - Perfectionism among young people significantly increased since 1980s, study finds
January 20, 2018 - Evidensia Sweden orders Sectra cloud-based PACS for reviewing all medical images
January 20, 2018 - Researchers test new anti-malaria medication
January 20, 2018 - Small Joint Surgeries Drop among RA Patients
January 20, 2018 - Young people with shared residency have fewer mental problems
January 20, 2018 - Childhood physical activity may have far-reaching implications
January 20, 2018 - Overweight female kidney donors of childbearing age may have greater preeclampsia risk
January 20, 2018 - MSU scientists seek to identify brain mechanisms related to psychosis
January 20, 2018 - CBT is cost-effective treatment in primary care setting, Kaiser Permanente study finds
January 20, 2018 - Scientists find how potential new eczema treatment could also alleviate asthma
January 20, 2018 - Older hospitalized patients less likely to be tested for influenza
January 20, 2018 - Syndax Pharmaceuticals Announces Clinical Collaboration to Evaluate Entinostat in Combination with anti-PD-L1 Cancer Immunotherapy in Breast Cancer
January 20, 2018 - Endoscopes Over Microscopes in Retinal Surgery: Ophthalmology Times
January 20, 2018 - Technology not taking over children’s lives despite screen-time increase
January 20, 2018 - Study finds extensive contamination around lead battery recycling plants in 7 African countries
January 20, 2018 - Flu may pass to others through exhaled breath, study shows
January 20, 2018 - Neuronal loss very limited in Alzheimer’s disease, new study shows
January 20, 2018 - Novel robot can aid treatment of rare birth defect
January 19, 2018 - TherapeuticsMD Announces Submission of New Drug Application for TX-001HR
January 19, 2018 - Fighting Infant Mortality | Medpage Today
January 19, 2018 - Researchers offer new evidence on four-year-old children’s knowledge about ecology
January 19, 2018 - Analysis finds overlooked crucial factor in determining prognosis for DIPGs
January 19, 2018 - Review explores consequences of genetic testing and cancer risk-reducing surgery
January 19, 2018 - Morning Break: HHS Div. of Religious Freedom; Trump’s Heart Health; Minister of Loneliness
January 19, 2018 - Parkinson’s disease ‘jerking’ side effect detected by algorithm
January 19, 2018 - New analysis finds dramatic increases in maternal mortality rates
January 19, 2018 - Study provides more evidence for link between increased cancer risk and advanced gum disease
January 19, 2018 - Study reveals key mechanism of how cancer metastasis happens
January 19, 2018 - Weight-Loss Surgery’s Benefits Wane Over Time for Diabetics
January 19, 2018 - Cath Lab Recap: Sapien 3 Delivery System Recall; Transatlantic PCI Smackdown
January 19, 2018 - Parkinson’s treatment could be more effective, student finds
January 19, 2018 - New vaccine approach offers effective protection against tuberculosis
January 19, 2018 - Home care agencies often wrongly deny Medicare help to the chronically ill
January 19, 2018 - One hundred percent fruit juice does not alter blood sugar levels
January 19, 2018 - Prebiotics could enhance learning and memory skills in infants
January 19, 2018 - CMS May Cover MRI With Cardiac Devices Across the Board
January 19, 2018 - As income rises, women get slimmer—but not men
January 19, 2018 - Researchers develop adhesive materials to prevent bracket stains on teeth
January 19, 2018 - Flu can be spread without coughs and sneezes
January 19, 2018 - AMSBIO’s new recombinant protein shows great promise for organoid culture
January 19, 2018 - AbbVie’s Upadacitinib Granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Atopic Dermatitis
January 19, 2018 - ASH: Pomalidomide Dose Escalation Improves Response
January 19, 2018 - AMSBIO offers isogenic panels of neuronal iPSC derivatives
January 19, 2018 - Is your child’s school an obesity risk?
January 19, 2018 - Scientists describe groundbreaking training effect on the innate immune system
January 19, 2018 - MAST announces new AmpC, ESBL & Carbapenemase Detection Set
January 19, 2018 - Signaling molecules likely involved in concussions, rodent studies show
January 19, 2018 - Mast introduces Carba plus for CPE and OXA-48 confirmation
January 19, 2018 - Paleolithic diet helps overweight women maintain weight loss
January 19, 2018 - Agios Submits New Drug Application to the FDA for Ivosidenib for the Treatment of Patients with Relapsed/Refractory AML and an IDH1 Mutation
January 19, 2018 - This Flu Season, Don’t Forget About Tamiflu
Underweight Linked to Early Menopause

Underweight Linked to Early Menopause

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Action Points

  • Women who were underweight in early or mid-adulthood had a higher risk for early menopause.
  • Note that repeatedly gaining and losing weight was also linked with higher risk for early menopause.

Women who were underweight in early or mid-adulthood had a higher risk for early menopause, an analysis of data from the Nurses’ Health Study found.

Women who were underweight at age 18 had more than 50% higher risk for early menopause, compared with those of normal weight (odds ratio 1.54; 95% CI 1.24-1.90), and women who were underweight at 35 had nearly 60% higher risk (OR 1.59; 95% CI 1.21-2.09), reported Kathleen Szegda, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and colleagues.

Repeatedly gaining and losing weight was also linked with higher risk. Women who were underweight at 18 and gained and lost 20 pounds three or more times by age 30 had more than double the odds of early menopause (OR 2.40; 95% CI 1.08-5.33), Szegda’s group said online in the journal Human Reproduction.

Women who were underweight at the time they enrolled in the study were 30% more likely to experience early menopause (OR 1.30; 95% CI 1.08-1.57). However, women who were overweight at enrollment were 30% less likely (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.58-0.84), the study found.

Up to 10% of women experience early menopause, the study authors noted. “Early menopause has been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and other health conditions such as cognitive decline, osteoporosis, and premature mortality,” Szegda told MedPage Today in an email. “In addition, early menopause has implications for family planning. Physicians may want to consider discussing these findings with underweight premenopausal female patients.”

Szegda and colleagues prospectively analyzed data on 78,759 women who indicated they were premenopausal when they enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study 2 in 1989. These women reported their weight at age 18, and their current height and weight, at enrollment. Their mean age at enrollment was 34.8 years.

Participants completed questionnaires every two years to update their health information. At approximately 22 years of follow-up, 2,804 participants reported early menopause, defined as natural menopause occurring before age 45. The study authors used multivariable logistic regression analysis to explore the relationship between early menopause and various measures of adiposity, including body-mass index (BMI), at age 18, age 35, and at baseline. They defined underweight as a BMI of less than 18.5 and overweight as a BMI of 25 or higher.

The researchers found similar results when they examined the relationship between waist-to-hip ratio and early menopause. For example, women with ratios of 0.85 to <0.90 had significantly lower risk compared to women with ratios less than 0.75 (OR 0.70; 95% CI 0.55-0.90).

Several possible mechanisms may link underweight and early menopause, the study authors said. Previous research demonstrated that low body weight increases risk for functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA), which results from dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadotropin (HPG) axis, leading to anovulation, hypoestrogenism, and increased infertility risk. “While reproductive factors associated with fewer ovulatory cycles (e.g., greater parity, oral contraceptive use) have generally been associated with later menopausal age, it is possible that anovulation caused by HPG axis disruption is differentially associated with rate of reproductive aging,” they said.

Research has also shown that FHA commonly leads to increased activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, leading to elevated levels of corticotrophin releasing hormone, aderenocorticotrophin, and cortisol “It is possible that chronic elevation of these stress related hormones may increase early menopause risk, as some studies have found earlier age of menopause among women experiencing elevated stress levels,” Szegda and colleagues suggested.

It is also possible the relationship is based simply on body size, the study authors said. “Adult body size may be correlated with size at birth and consequently size of the ovarian pool, which is determined prenatally. A smaller ovarian pool would potentially result in an earlier age of menopause. Additional studies should examine relationships between birth weight, early life adiposity, and menopause timing.”

The study did not distinguish between women with anorexia nervosa, which is associated with amenorrhea and hormone imbalances, and women who were simply constitutionally thin, the authors noted. In addition, the study cohort was primarily white, so the study had limited power to assess whether the associations between body weight and early menopause varied by race or ethnicity, they said.

“In summary, our findings suggest that both overall and abdominal adiposity are non-linearly associated with risk of early natural menopause,” Szegda and colleagues said. “Women who were underweight in early or mid-adulthood, especially those who reported severe weight cycling, had higher risk for early menopause compared to lean-normal weight women. Additional prospective research is needed to understand how low adiposity may physiologically impact the timing of menopause.”

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

No study authors reported relevant relationships with industry.

  • Reviewed by
    Robert Jasmer, MD Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner


Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles