Early diabetes diagnosis can increase risk of early menopause, study finds

October is World Menopause Month, which aims to remove the stigma and open for discussions about the condition, women can feel freer about discussing their symptoms and seeking the appropriate help.

One of the things receiving more attention recently is the link between early onset menopause and diabetes.

Menopause marks the end of ovarian function and can be labelled “early” or “premature” if it occurs before 45 years.

New research has found that early menopause can be triggered among women who are diagnosed with diabetes.

In the study, around 11,000 women who were diagnosed with either type 1 diabetes before 30, or type 2 diabetes between the ages of 30 and 39, were found to have a strong link for earlier onset of the menopause.

The research also found that a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes after the age of 40 was associated with later menopause, compared to women without diabetes.

What is the link between diabetes and early menopause?
“Even after adjusting for covariates associated with age at natural menopause, we still find an association between early diagnosis of diabetes and earlier menopause and a later diabetes diagnosis with a later age at menopause as compared to those who did not have diabetes,” said lead study author Vrati Mehra from the University of Toronto.

She continued: “We hope our work lays the foundation for more research in this area so we can better understand and prevent the long-term impacts of diabetes on the human body and the reproductive system.”

In a previous study published in the National Library of Medicine, early menopause in type 2 Diabetic women was investigated.

The research noted that the average age of menopause among diabetic women was 44.65 which is much earlier than the menopause in non-diabetic women which is normally at 48.2 years.

The research also revealed “a higher BMI among the diabetics than the non-diabetic women.

“This may be due to the changes in body composition and increase in abdominal fat after menopause.”

It concluded: “Type 2 Diabetes increases the risk of early menopause and reinforces the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes for a long-term well-being of a woman.”

The preliminary findings are scheduled to be presented at a meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).

NAMS director, Dr Stephanie Faubion said the research adds to growing evidence about the collective toll diabetes takes on the human body including age-related conditions including menopause.

“In this case, it shows that young women living with a diagnosis of diabetes are more susceptible to accelerated ovarian aging and early menopause,” Faubion said in a society news release.