Exercise does not cause early menopause

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woman, exercise, menopause, physical activity
Woman exercising

 

The age at which women stop menstruating is not linked to the amount of physical activity they do

If you were worried about conflicting reports  about the relation between physical activity and menopause, take heart.

A new study by University of Massachusetts, USA, should clear doubts. The study published in Human Reproduction, shows that increased physical activity is unrelated to the cause of early menopause. In other words, the amount of physical activity that women undertake is not linked to their risk of early menopause.

Researchers analysed data from 107,275 women, who were followed prospectively  the time they joined the Nurses’ Health Study II in 1989 until 2011, and found no association between physical activity at any age and early natural menopause.

Authors added that one should encourage premenopausal women to be physically active, as exercise is associated with a range of health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and other conditions.

Female US registered nurses aged 25-42 were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II in 1989 and they completed questionnaires about  the time they spent in recreational physical activities such as walking, running, cycling, racquet sports, swimming laps, aerobic activities, yoga, weight training and high intensity activities such as lawn mowing and their medical conditions every two years.

During the 20 years of follow-up, the researchers found no significant difference in the risk of early menopause between moderate and heavy physical activity. The amount of physical activity that the women reported in their teenage years was also unrelated to the risk of early menopause.

Dr Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, who directed the research said: “Our work has suggested that environmental factors are associated with early menopause. We found higher intake of calcium and vitamin D from dairy foods to be associated with lower risk. Higher intake of vegetable protein was associated with lower risk as well, though animal protein was not. Cigarette smoking is associated with higher risk, as is being underweight. We are currently investigating other factors as well.”

Authors added that one should encourage premenopausal women to be physically active, as exercise is associated with a range of health benefits, such as a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and other conditions.

1 COMMENT

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