Having type 1 diabetes can cause women to experience early menopause, say researchers in Pennsylvania. Janice S. Dorman, PhD, from the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues found that the women with type 1 diabetes started menstruation later, experienced more irregular periods before the age of 30 and reached menopause at an earlier age. As a result, women with type 1 also had a lower number of reproductive years (30 years compared to the 37 years of their non-diabetic sisters and 35 years in the control group). In evaluating all risk factors, researchers also found that bearing no children and the removal of one ovary were also associated with earlier menopause.
Researchers, who published the results in the August issue of Diabetes, note that early menopause is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
One reason for the early menopause, they further explain, may be long-term high blood sugar and other complications resulting from type 1 diabetes.