Menopause occurs early in women with type 1 diabetes


WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) – Women with type 1 diabetes are some 6 or 7 years younger at menopause than nondiabetic women, according to a report in the August issue of Diabetes.

Dr. Janice S. Dorman of the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and colleagues compared a representative cohort of women with type 1 diabetes (n = 143), their nondiabetic sisters (n = 186) and unrelated controls (n = 160).

Type 1 diabetic women were significantly (p < 0.001) more likely to be older at menarche (13.5 years) than their nondiabetic sisters (12.5 years) and controls (12.6 years). In addition, the diabetic group was more likely to younger at menopause (41.6 years versus 49.9 years and 48.0 years, respectively, p = 0.05).

"This resulted in a 6-year reduction in the number of reproductive years…for women with type 1 diabetes," the investigators write.

The diabetic women had more menstrual irregularities before age 30 than the nondiabetic women and controls (45.7% versus 33.3% and 33.1%, respectively, p = 0.04). Multivariate analysis confirmed that type 1 diabetes (HR 1.98, p = 0.056), menstrual irregularities by age 30 years (HR 2.36, p = 0.01), and unilateral oophorectomy (HR 9.76, p < 0.0001) independently predicted early menopause.

Dr. Dorman and colleagues conclude that premature menopause "is a major unstudied complication of type 1 diabetes."

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