Women who are underweight during their teenage or in their mid 30-s are at higher risk of having an early menopause, contrary to lean or normal weight women, a research has warned. Early menopause is defined as menopause at the age of 45 or before. It is also linked to higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and early death. The results inferred that women who were underweight (BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2) had a significant 30% increased risk of early menopause as compared to normally weighing women (BMI between 18.5-22.4 kg/m2).
Overweight women with BMIs between 25-29.9 kg/m2 had a 21-30 per cent lower risk of early menopause compared to normal weight women. Further, women who were underweight at age 18 with a BMI of less than 17.5 kg/m2 had a 50 per cent higher risk of early menopause compared to lean or normal weight women.
Women who had a BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2 at the age of 35 had a 59 per cent increased risk. Underweight women who reported "severe weight cycling," losing 20 pounds or more three times or more between the ages of 18 and 30, had a 2.4-fold increased risk of early menopause, the authors report.
"Our findings suggest that women who are underweight in early or mid-adulthood may be at increased risk for early menopause," said lead author Kathleen Szegda, a faculty member of the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
"Our findings suggest that being underweight may have an impact on the timing of menopause -- experienced by up to 10 per cent of women," Szegda noted.
The study appeared in the journal Human Reproduction. For the study, the team evaluated about 80,000 women of age group 25-42.
(With IANS Inputs)