Being underweight can trigger early menopause

Being underweight can trigger early menopause

A large study of nearly 80,000 women found that being underweight could lead to early menopause.

The women sampled were part of the Nurses’ Health Study II between and, amongst other information gathered, the researchers collected stats on their height, weight, and menopausal status.  Early menopause was defined as occurring before the age of 45.

It was found that women with a body mass index (BMI) below 18.5 at any age were 30% more likely to experience early menopause compared with women whose BMI was between 18.5 and 22.4 which is considered normal.  They also discovered that women whose BMI was between 25 and 29.9 were up to 30 % less likely to experience early menopause.

The highest likelihood of having early menopause seemed to be among women who, when they were 18 years old, had a BMI below 18.5 and reported having experienced “severe weight cycling.”  Also, women who had a BMI lower than 17.5 at the age of 18 were 50% more likely to have an early menopause compared with normal-weight women.

An early menopause occurs in about 10% of women and is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and other health conditions such as cognitive decline, osteoporosis, and premature death.  So being underweight at any time of their fertile years should be avoided







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