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'Smoking linked to earlier menopause'

3 January, 2016

'Smoking linked to earlier menopause'

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Smoking. Credit: Shuterstock Credit: Shuterstock

Women who are heavy smokers are more likely to experience the menopause earlier, claim researchers.

They found that those who smoked from the age of 15 went through the menopause an average of 21 months earlier. 

The study looked at 79,000 women and also found a weaker link with prolonged exposure to passive smoke.

The women had gone through the menopause when they were recruited to the study.

They completed questionnaires covering how long they had smoked, how much they smoked and when they had experienced the menopause.

Compared to non-smokers, current or former smoker also had an average of 14% greater risk of infertility.

The clinical significance of earlier menopause is not clear, say the researchers, but they say other studies have linked earlier menopause to a heightened risk of death from any cause.

‘This is one of the first studies of this size and statistical power to investigate and quantify active and passive smoking and women’s health issues,’ say the researchers.

‘It strengthens the current evidence that all women need to be protected from active and passive tobacco smoke.’

The study has been published in the journal Tobacco Control. For more information and to access the research, click here.


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