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Title Early menopause increases risk of Osteoporosis
Date 8 May 2012
Full Story It is well known that estrogen has protective effects on the bone, maintaining bone density, and that loss of estrogen earlier than the average age of the menopause, ie early or premature menopause, leads to an increased risk of osteoporosis if untreated.

Loss of estrogen before the age of 40 has been stated as being of particular significance, but a recent report in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology concludes that menopause before the age of 47 is associated with increased mortality risk and increased risk of both having osteoporosis and of sustaining fragility fracture by the age of 77.

The study included 390 north European women and followed them up for 34 years beginning at the age of 48 and divided into two groups according to age at menopause; early menopause <47 years and late menopause >47 years.

Study limitations include the small ample size and a high dropout rate, but this is thought to be the first such study with a follow-up period of more than three decades. Women who do experience the menopause before the age of 47 years should be aware of later health risks related to the early loss of estrogen and should consider the use of hormone replacement, at least until the average age of the menopause.

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