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Abnormal Menstrual Cycle Linked to Elevated Mortality

Women reporting irregular menstrual cycle at 14 to 17, 18 to 22 more likely to die from any causes

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Abnormal menstrual cycle characteristics are associated with elevated mortality risk, according to a study presented at the annual American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Scientific Congress and Expo, held from Oct. 12 to 16 in Philadelphia.

Yixin Wang, M.D., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlations of menstrual cycle characteristics with the risk for mortality in 93,775 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1991 and 2013.

The researchers found that during 1,729,410 person-years of follow-up, there were 1,679 deaths, including 828 from cancer and 166 from cardiovascular disease. Compared with women reporting a very regular menstrual cycle between the ages of 14 to 17 and 18 to 22 years, those reporting that their menstrual cycles were always irregular at these ages were more likely to die from any causes during follow-up (hazard ratios, 1.21 and 1.34, respectively). A similar correlation was seen between ages 28 and 48 years. Compared with women whose current usual cycle length was 26 to 31 days, women reporting a current usual cycle length of 32 to 39 or ≥40 days were more likely to die from any causes (hazard ratios, 1.23 and 1.28, respectively).

“Patients who experience menstrual irregularity should be advised to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be alert to health changes,” Hugh Taylor, M.D., vice president of the ASRM, said in a statement.

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