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Parity, Breastfeeding Inversely Tied to Early Natural Menopause

Risk for early menopause lowest among those reporting exclusive breastfeeding for seven to 12 months

MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Both parity and breastfeeding are inversely associated with the risk for early natural menopause, according to a study published online Jan. 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Christine R. Langton, M.P.H., from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and colleagues examined the correlation of parity and breastfeeding with risk for early menopause in 108,887 premenopausal women aged 25 to 42 years at baseline.

The researchers found that higher parity correlated with a lower risk for early menopause in multivariable models. With adjustment for breastfeeding, the hazard ratios were attenuated but remained significant. Women reporting one, two, three, and four or more pregnancies lasting at least six months had hazard ratios for early menopause of 0.92 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.79 to 1.06), 0.84 (0.73 to 0.96), 0.78 (0.67 to 0.92), and 0.81 (0.66 to 1.01) compared with nulliparous women (P for trend, 0.006). In multivariable models also adjusted for parity, the hazard ratios were 0.95 (0.85 to 1.07), 0.72 (0.62 to 0.83), 0.80 (0.66 to 0.97), and 0.89 (0.69 to 1.16), respectively, for exclusive breastfeeding of one to six, seven to 12, 13 to 18, and ≥19 months versus one month of exclusive breastfeeding (P for trend, 0.001). In each level of parity, the risk for early menopause was lowest with exclusive breastfeeding for seven to 12 months.

“Some of the lower risk of early natural menopause attributed to parity could be attributable to breastfeeding,” the authors write.

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