A preliminary study found that there is a 35% higher risk of developing dementia in women who go through menopause before the age of 40, called premature menopause.
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When a woman’s ovaries stop producing hormones and the menstrual cycle ends at age 40, premature menopause occurs. Many people don’t know this, but menopause is the name given to the last period, which usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, marking the end of the reproductive phase of a woman’s life. This means that she has exhausted her supply of eggs, which have been released since puberty, month after month, over the course of 30, 35 years. That is to say, premature menopause occurs about 12 years before its natural onset.
Overall, what you see in this study is a modest association between premature menopause and later risk of dementia, which is the term used to describe symptoms of a broad group of diseases that cause a progressive decline in functioning. of somebody. It is an umbrella term that describes memory loss, intellectual ability, reasoning, social skills, and changes in normal emotional reactions.
The study of menopause
The research, which has not been published but will be presented this week at the American Heart Association’s 2022 conference, looked at data from more than 153,000 women who took part in the UK Biobank, an ongoing study that examines the genetic and health information of half a million. of people living in the UK.
There were adjustments in the study for age, race, weight, education and income, tobacco and alcohol consumption, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and physical activity. It found that women who entered menopause before age 45 were 1.3 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia praecox at age 65, the age at which a woman is still active for any job.
Estrogen, which is a generic designation for hormones whose action is related to the control of ovulation and the development of feminine characteristics, may be the key point of this research, because when women enter menopause, levels estrogen drops, which may be one of the reasons for the study’s findings,
What is known from the medical literature is that a long-term lack of estrogen increases oxidative stress, which can accelerate brain aging and lead to cognitive impairment.