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Womens Health (Lond). 2009 Mar;5(2):175-90. doi: 10.2217/17455057.5.2.175.

Early life circumstances and their impact on menarche and menopause.

Author information

1
MRC Unit for Lifelong Health & Ageing, University College & Royal Free Medical School, London, UK. g.mishra@nshd.mrc.ac.uk

Abstract

Ages at menarche and menopause have been shown to be associated with adverse health outcomes in later life. For example, earlier menarche and later menopause have been independently linked to higher risk of breast cancer. Earlier menarche may also be associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer, menstrual problems and adult obesity. Given the associations of ages at menarche and menopause with future health outcomes, it is important to establish what factors across life, and generations, may influence these. This article examines the associations of early life factors, namely birthweight, bodyweight and growth during childhood, childhood socioeconomic circumstances and psychosocial factors with ages at menarche and menopause. It examines possible explanations of the associations found, including life history theory, and discusses areas for future research.

PMID:
19245355
PMCID:
PMC3287288
DOI:
10.2217/17455057.5.2.175
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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