Later menopause could cause type 2 diabetes
US researchers have found that women who go through the menopause later have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Looking at 124,000 women they found that those who went through the menopause after the age of 55 were at a higher risk. The report suggests that the risk is linked to hormone levels.
Previous research has found that women who experience menopause before 45 years are at a higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
This is because lower levels of oestrogen are linked to increased body fat, a lower metabolism and a higher blood sugar levels.
The recent study looked a wide range of women between the age of 50-79 all of which were post-menopausal when they were recruited in the mid-1990s.
The study followed them for a decade, and they completed extensive health questionnaires including information about their medical conditions and reproductive history.
Lead researcher Dr Erin LeBlanc said: "Women who start menopause before or after that window should be aware that they are at higher risk, and should be especially vigilant about reducing obesity, eating a healthy diet and exercising.
Diabetes UK said that understanding the risks could help advise people on healthy lifestyles.
"Understanding who is most at risk of type 2 diabetes is important in order to intervene and prevent the condition from developing where possible”, said Dr Emily Burns of Diabetes UK.
Further work will be carried out to understand why menopause age appears to be linked with type 2 diabetes in some women.
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