Fewer periods may mean higher dementia risk

(Amy Norton/ HealthDay) — A new study suggests that the fewer menstrual periods a woman has in her lifetime, the higher her risk of dementia — though the reasons, for now, are unclear.

The study was based on close to 16,000 women. It found that those who started having periods at age 16 or later were more likely to develop dementia than women who started menstruating at a more typical age.

The same was true of women who went through menopause relatively early.

The researchers said the pattern fits a theory that lower lifetime exposure to estrogen may contribute to dementia. Lab research, for example, suggests that estrogen aids resiliency and repair of brain cells. (…)

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