Diabetes in women: scientists have identified yet another risk factor.
According to the study, published in the «Menopause» magazine, the duration of the reproductive period of a woman (the time of first menstruation to menopause) affect the risk of developing type II diabetes. For example, women with the duration of the reproductive period of less than 30 years the risk of developing type II diabetes increased by 37% compared to women whose reproductive period lasted for 36-40 years (average). The study also showed that women with a longer reproductive period (45 years and over) characterized by a 23% higher risk of developing type II diabetes than women with an average duration of the period.
This study involved 124,379 women aged 50-79 years. They filled out questionnaires with information about lifestyle, medical and family history, and others. Height, weight and waist circumference were measured the participants to measure their body mass index. The researchers also collected information about the beginning of menstruation and menopause in study participants. The duration of the observation participants averaged 12.2 years.
Results of the study showed that the relationship between the risk of developing type II diabetes and the duration of the reproductive period was U-shaped, that is, short and long reproductive period is associated with an increased risk of this. In addition, women with the shortest or, on the contrary, a long reproductive period had a higher body mass index and waist circumference figures compared with those whose reproductive period was average. Women with a short reproductive period often subjected to surgical menopause and are more likely to receive during the study or prior hormonal therapy.
Scientists note that the conclusion that a short reproductive period is associated with an increased risk of developing type II diabetes was not surprising, since the low level of estrogen negatively affects the distribution of body fat and fat accumulation, known risk factors for this disease. In turn, the high level of interest among scientists has caused the relationship a long reproductive period with type II diabetes mellitus. When the components of the reproductive period were considered separately, the age at the time of the end of menstruation, not its origin, was associated with the risk of type II diabetes mellitus type U-shaped relationship. Having more pregnancies, which is associated with more intense influence of estrogen on the body, it was also associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes type II. After full adjustment of the data or age when menstruation or irregular menstrual cycles were associated with a significantly increased risk of developing type II diabetes compared with women with a regular menstrual cycle.
Understanding who is at risk of this disease - a very important aspect in view of the possibility of applying preventive measures to reduce the risk, such as weight loss, nutritional correction and increased physical activity. The duration of the reproductive period, and age at menopause may also be important factors that need to be added to the list of risk factors for type II diabetes, the researchers note. Given the high prevalence of type II diabetes among postmenopausal women, the latter may benefit from counseling about the correct way of life.