Higher risk of dementia due to late onset of the period?
Researchers have now discovered that the timing of menopause and menopause may indicate an increased risk of dementia. If the period starts late in women or if they enter early in menopause, this is associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.
The current study by American health care firm Kaiser Permanente found that women who are late in their period or begin menopause early have a significantly increased risk of dementia. The results of the study were published in the English journal "Neurology".
More than 6,000 women were examined for the study
When women have their first menstrual cycle at age 16 or older, their chance of developing dementia increases by almost 25%. Those who entered menopause before age 47 had a nearly 20% greater risk of developing dementia. Those affected experience a decline in cognitive and physical abilities and behavior. There is no cure for the disease at this time. It is important to look closely at specific risk factors for women that can lead to potential intervention points, the study authors explain. More than 6,000 female participants were included in the current study. These women were medically examined and also completed questionnaires that included determining when they had their first period, whether they had had menopause and had undergone a hysterectomy. The researchers then calculated the number of reproductive years for each participant. About 42 percent of women became ill with dementia later in life.
Number of reproductive years may indicate risk of dementia
Researchers found that women whose first period began at the age of 16 or older, 23 percent more likely to suffer from dementia than women who entered the period at 13 years of age. In addition, the results showed that women who entered menopause before age 47 were 19% more likely to develop dementia than women who entered menopause at 47 years of age. During all reproductive years, from the first menopause to the menopause, women younger than 34 years were 20% more likely to develop dementia. In addition, women who had undergone hysterectomies (removal of the uterus) had an eight percent greater risk of dementia than women who did not undergo such surgery. Women should not now consider this risk as a reason to opt for a hysterectomy.
Estrogen may affect the risk of dementia
Although researchers are not sure why a shorter reproductive window is associated with a higher risk of dementia, they hypothesize that hormone levels may play a role. Previous research has already shown that estrogen stimulates energy expenditure and has anti-inflammatory properties. Estrogen levels can go up or down throughout a woman's life. The results show that lower lifetime exposure to estrogen is associated with an increased risk of dementia, the authors explain. However, more studies are needed to consider factors that also affect estrogen levels such as birth control and pregnancy.
How to protect yourself from dementia
To protect yourself from the onset of dementia, you should do exercises and proper exercises. In addition, you should pay attention to a healthy diet and necessarily remain socially and mentally active. Not only have these factors been shown to reduce the risk of dementia, they also have other positive effects on your life and health. (THE)