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Low BMI associated with earlier menopause onset and a greater risk of reduced bone mineral density.
Researchers have reported a statistically significant relationship between age at natural menopause and body mass index (BMI), with the indication that menopause occurs earlier in thinner women.
Dr. S. A. Steel and colleagues, from the University of Hull, UK, investigated BMI, menopausal age, HRT use and lifestyle factors in 4,893 women aged 50-55 years. The women were divided into four groups according to BMI: <20 kg/m2 (thin), 20-25 kg/m2 (normal), 25-30 kg/m2 (overweight), and >30 kg/m2 (obese).
Overall, 70 percent of the women had reached the menopause. Although only a small proportion were using HRT, "obese women do not appear to be higher users of HRT," Steele told delegates this week�s at the 10th World Congress on the Menopause in Berlin. Some of the menopausal women were experiencing vasomotor symptoms, but there was no influence of BMI on their incidence.
There was a significant correlation between the women�s BMI and age of menopause. For women of normal weight, the average age of menopause was 47.29 years, increasing slightly to about 48 years for the overweight and obese women. But among the thin women, the average age of menopause was earlier at 46.58 years, Steel reported. She acknowledged that the rate of smoking was higher among women with BMI <20 kg/m2 and this may influence the age of menopause.
Steel concluded: "Menopause occurs on average 2 years earlier in thin women compared with overweight and obese women." Furthermore, "bone mineral density in the spine and hip is significantly reduced in thin women," she added.
Pat - AKA - Satie37