Early menopause women more likely to have dementia later in life, shows study

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In a new study, researchers found that women who enter menopause very early, before age 40, are more likely to develop dementia later in life compared to women who begin menopause at the average menopause-onset age of 50 to 51 years.

Dementia involves serious changes in the brain that impair a person’s ability to remember, make decisions and use language.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, while the second most common is vascular dementia, which is the result of disruptions in blood flow to brain cells caused by strokes or plaque build-up in arteries supplying blood to the brain.

Both of these types of dementia are more common with age.

Diseases affecting specific parts of the brain can also lead to dementia, and a person can have dementia due to more than one disease process.

In the current study, the team analyzed the potential relationship between age at menopause onset and the diagnosis of dementia from any cause.

In the current study, the team examined the Health data from 153,291 women who were an average age of 60 years when they became participants in the UK Biobank (between 2006 and 2010).

The UK Biobank is a large biomedical database that includes genetic and health information on a half million people living in the United Kingdom.

They found that women who entered menopause before the age of 40 were 35% more likely to have been diagnosed with dementia;

women who entered menopause before the age of 45 were 1.3 times more likely to have been diagnosed with dementia before they were 65 years old (called presenile or early-onset dementia);

Women who entered menopause at age 52 or older had similar rates of dementia to those women who entered menopause at an average age of menopause onset, which is the age of 50-51 years.

As Wenting Hao, M.D says, women who enter menopause very early were at greater risk of developing dementia later in life.

Being aware of this increased risk can help women practice strategies to prevent dementia and to work with their physicians to closely monitor their cognitive status as they age.

There are many ways women who experience early menopause could reduce the risk of dementia.

This includes routine exercise, participation in leisure and educational activities, not smoking and not drinking alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough vitamin D, and if recommended by their physician, possibly taking calcium supplements.

The researchers suggest that lowered estrogen levels may be a factor in the possible connection between early menopause and dementia.

Health care clinicians who care for women should be aware of a woman’s age at menopause onset and closely monitor for cognitive decline in those who reached menopause before age 45.

If you care about dementia risk, please read studies about antibiotic drug that may effectively treat common dementia, and new stem cell therapy to treat dementia.

For more information about brain health, please see recent studies about eye problems linked to a higher risk of dementia, and results showing that some dementia cases could be prevented by changing these 12 things.

The study was conducted by Wenting Hao,et al., and presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Conference 2022.