Age at onset of menarche (first menstrual cycle) is associated with increased body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and overall obesity in adulthood, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in women in the United States. When compared to men, women may manifest their clinical disease later in life, rendering standard risk prediction algorithms less reliable in women. The current study uses a life course approach, which looks for associations between earlier life events and later health outcomes, to better understand and predict CVD risk in women at their pre-clinical stage.
"The purpose of this study was to examine whether female reproductive risk factors – including onset of menarche, number of births over a lifetime (called parity), onset of menopause, and menopausal status – are associated with indices of body fat composition," said Caroline S. Fox, MD, MPH, of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and senior author of the study. "We found that earlier onset of menarche is associated with overall adiposity, whereas parity and menopausal age were not associated with adiposity measures. Post-menopausal women also had higher levels of overall adiposity, though this appeared to be mostly due to age and not menopausal status."
The study featured 1,638 women who participated in the Framingham Heart Study (FHS) between 2002 and 2005. These participants were aged 40 or older, weighed less than 160 kg and not pregnant. Study participants underwent a physical exam along with laboratory analyses to measure visceral adiposity (VAT, the "belly fat" around the abdomen) and subcutaneous adiposity (SAT, the fat under the skin). The study modeled the relationship between VAT, SAT, and female reproductive factors after adjusting for age, smoking status, alcohol intake, physical activity index, hormone replacement therapy and menopausal status. Results of the study showed the timing of the first menstrual cycle was associated with generalized but not regional body fat depots.
"This research suggests that select female reproductive risk factors, specifically onset of menarche, are associated with overall adiposity, but not with specific indices of body fat distribution," said Dr. Subbulaxmi Trikudanathan, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, and lead author of the study . "Ultimately, the important question is whether female reproductive risk factors can be used to target lifestyle interventions in high risk women to prevent the metabolic consequences of obesity and cardiovascular disease."
The Endocrine Society: http://www.endo-society.org
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
There's a new contender in the century-old quest for perfect, guiltless sweetness: allulose. It's sugar — but in a form that our bodies don't convert into calories. Perfect? Not quite.
Researchers say findings may have important public health implications as vitamin supplements are relatively safe and cost-effective
Sarcoptic mange can leave southern hairy-nosed and bare-nosed wombats blind and deaf before eventually killing them
Annual vaccinations could be a thing of the past as scientists have successfully tested vaccines on animals infected with different strains of influenza
Remember winter, when everything was cold and grey? Right now, when all around is lush and green, the contrast couldn’t be greater. But is everything really as it seems? New research shows that we see things differently in winter compared with summer.
We now know how to turn fat cells into ones that burn calories as heat rather than store them – raising the prospect of a gene therapy for obesity
A growing body of research suggests that doctors' racial biases and other prejudices continue to affect the care patients received. Medical educators say self-awareness is an important first step.
A new study renews questions about how aggressively doctors should treat a very early form of breast cancer or pre-cancer.
Addyi gains US marketing licence after third attempt, but questions remain about its effectiveness, potential side-effects and the true need for the drug
Increasingly taken by healthy people to improve focus before exams, after a comprehensive review researchers say modafinil is safe in the short-term