Early menarche linked with increased diabetes risk, study finds


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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Early menarche could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), while later menarche decreases the risk, suggests a new research published in Menopause

Researchers analysed data on 15,346 post-menopausal women in rural China to determine if early menarche is associated with an increased risk of T2DM. The average age of menarche is 16 years in China, while it is 13 years in women from western countries. The overall prevalence of T2DM among participants was 12.6 per cent. 

After adjusting for multiple confounders, the researchers found the early menarche group (≤14 years) had a higher risk of T2DM (odds ratio [OR] 1.21; 95% CI 1.06-1.38; P=.004) compared with the reference group (16-17 years), whereas participants in the late-onset group (≥19 years) had a lower risk of T2DM (OR = 0.78; 95% CI 0.66-0.92; P=.003). Each year of delay in menarche age correlated with a 6 per cent lower risk of T2DM. Of note, the study found that body mass index partially mediated the association between age at menarche and T2DM.

The authors said, “determining a history of early menarche may help to identify women with an increased risk of T2DM.”