(HealthDay News) – Women who experience early menopause have a greater risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in Diabetes Care.

Judith S. Brand, from the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from 3,691 postmenopausal case subjects with type 2 diabetes and 4,408 subcohort members included in the InterAct study, a prospective case-cohort study nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.

The researchers found that, over a median follow-up of 11 years, relative to women with menopause at age 50–54 years, for women with menopause at ages <40; 40–44; 45–49; and >55 years, the hazard ratios (HRs) for type 2 diabetes were 1.32 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.04–1.69); 1.09 (95% CI, 0.90–1.31); 0.97 (95%CI, 0.86–1.10); and 0.85 (95% CI, 0.70–1.03), respectively. There was a higher diabetes risk with shorter reproductive life span (HR per SD lower reproductive life span, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01–1.12). The effect was not significantly modified by body mass index, waist circumference, or smoking.

“Early menopause is associated with a greater risk of type 2 diabetes,” Brand and colleagues conclude.

One author disclosed receiving funding from Novo Nordisk.

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