Women who smoke have a higher risk of early natural menopause, a review of eleven studies involving about 50,000 women has found.
The meta-analysis, published in the February edition of Menopause journal, provides more evidence to suggest that smoking is a significant independent risk factor for early menopause.
Natural menopause usually occurs about age 50. One group of studies in the meta-analysis found smoking increased the risk of menopause occurring before this age by about 43 per cent. Another group of studies found smoking brought forward menopause by about one year.
Early natural menopause is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, genital tract cancers and osteoporosis.
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Content updated February 2012