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Dementia may be linked to premature menopause for women

We know that the lack of estrogen over the long term enhances oxidative stress, which may increase brain aging and lead to cognitive impairment. Photo: Pexels

(Sandee LaMotte/ CNN) — Entering menopause before age 40 is linked to a 35% higher risk of developing dementia later in life, a preliminary study finds.

Premature menopause, as it is called, occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop creating hormones and the menstrual cycle ends by age 40. That’s about a dozen years earlier than the typical onset of menopause, which is age 52 in the United States, according to the US Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health.

“What we see in this study is a modest association between premature menopause and a subsequent risk for dementia,” said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of the American Heart Association. He was not involved in the study. (…)