Colo. – Women who are exposed to certain chemicals are more
likely to experience menopause at a younger age, according to a newly published
study by a researcher from the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the
Anschutz Medical Campus.
study, published in the
journal PLOS One, reports that women exposed to certain chemicals experienced
menopause 1.9 years to 3.8 years earlier than women with lower levels of the
same chemicals. Women exposed to these same chemicals were up to six times more
likely to be menopausal than non-exposed women.
Grindler, MD, an instructor and fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and
Gynecology, and her fellow authors reviewed data collected by the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2008, covering 31,575
women. The survey, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, covers a cross section of the U.S. population.
researchers evaluated the levels of 111 potential chemicals present in the
women surveyed and found that 15 of those chemicals, which are used in
cosmetics, plastics and household cleaners, could be causing women to go
through menopause early. The chemicals associated with cases of early menopause
included phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, surfactants and organophosphate
study shows there is a clinically significant association between levels of
these chemicals and the age at menopause in a large cross section of U.S.
women,” Grindler said. “Early menopause is not the only negative health impact.
Any early decline in ovarian function could increase rates of infertility and
lead to earlier development of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and other
medical problems among women.”
exposure to products with these chemicals is nearly impossible, so a greater
understanding of how these chemicals affect reproductive health and interact
with genetic predispositions and environmental factors is needed, Grindler
support the use of an approach that captures lifestyle, behavior and other
exposures from conception onward,” Grindler said. “The health of future
generations is at risk and without further research in this area those born
today could be affected in decades to come.”
the University of Colorado School of Medicine
at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and
improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and
scientists at University of Colorado Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado,
Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical
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one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. To learn more about
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