Cigarette Smoking May Cause Early Menopause

As if cigarette smoking is not bad enough, a report compiled by researchers at the University of Hong Kong, says that women should be aware that smoking may cause them to enter menopause earlier than non-smokers.

The report was compiled based on data collected from six studies of approximately 6,000 women the U.S., Poland, Turkey, and Iran. The data from the studies showed that non-smoking women reached menopause between the ages of 46 and 51, on average, while smokers reached menopause between the ages of 43 to 50, concluding that smokers were 43% more likely than non-smokers to reach early menopause.

In addition, researchers reached a general consensus that..”earlier menopause is likely to be associated with the larger number and higher risk of postmenopausal health problems, such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, and the others.”

Dr. Jennie Kline, an epidemiologist from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York, also said there are two theories for why smoking might mean earlier menopause:

  1. Carcinogens from cigarette smoke may have an impact on how the body makes and/or gets rid of estrogen
  2. Carcinogens from cigarette smoke may kill a woman’s eggs

The report didn’t state how many cigarettes smoked per day could contribute to early menopause or the length of time of smoking impacted the results.

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