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Type 2 Diabetes Could Increase Risk of Early Menopause

Update Date: Dec 23, 2013 11:28 AM EST

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic illness that can be managed via a good diet and medications. Diabetics who are not on top of their regimen could jeopardize their health. Some complications that might arise are numbness in the feet, increased risk of eye issues, such as glaucoma and cataracts, and mental health issues. In a new study, researchers found another possible consequence of type 2 diabetes. The researchers from the University of Cartagena in Columbia found that women who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes before turning 45-years-old were more likely to go through menopause at an earlier age.

For this study, the researchers headed by Dr. Alvaro Monterrosa-Castro interviewed 6,079 women between the ages of 40 and 59 regarding menopause, depression and diabetes. The women came from 11 different nations in Latin America. The researchers also recorded weight, blood pressure and whether or not the participants had used hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

The researchers concluded that menopause was not a contributor to the onset or risk of diabetes. However, they found that women who developed the chronic illness before the age of 45 tended to get menopause earlier than non-diabetic women. The researchers reported that the average age of menopause for diabetic women was 48.5. The average age for non-diabetic women was 50.1. When menopause occurs, oestrogen levels start to dip. Previous research has tied lower levels of hormones to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and bone disease.

"The associations between diabetes and menopause can be complex, which reinforces the message that women approaching the menopause need to be treated as individuals, and evaluated according to their own general health, background and risk factors," Monterrosa-Castro sad according to Daily Mail. "Diabetes is also associated with a generally poor quality of life, so we should encourage women to avoid risk factors for type 2 diabetes, such as being overweight or having high blood pressure."

The research was published in the journal, Climacteric.

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