A large study of rural Chinese women suggests that early onset of menstruation is associated with a higher risk, and body mass index (BMI) may mediate this association.
The study, conducted in China, analyzed more than 15,000 postmenopausal women. Researchers found that women who begin menstruating at an earlier age have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
More specifically, each year of delay in menstruation age correlated with a 6% lower risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Although this is not the first study to suggest the association between menstruation age and diabetes, it provides added evidence regarding the increased risk, as well as the fact that BMI can partially mediate the association and the proportion of that effect is 28%.
“This study of rural Chinese women indicates that the average age of menarche is delayed relative to western countries at 16.1 years and is linked with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes,” explains Dr. Stephanie Faubion, North American Menopause Society medical director.
Earlier onset of menses, at 14 years, was associated with diabetes in later life, likely driven by adult BMI, Faubion says.
“Other factors such as nutrition and BMI in childhood may also play a role in this association,” she indicates.
The study is published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
- The North American Menopause Society (NAMS). (2019, July 31). Early-onset of menstruation associated with higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. EurekAlert! Retrieved August 1, 2019, from https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-07/tnam-eoo073019.php