A study of over 3100 women has revealed that women who go through an earlier menopause appear to be biologically older than their counterparts
The menopause is bad news for many areas of women's health, and its negative effect fits appropriately within the evolutionary theory of aging, in which the body knowingly allows and even encourages the aging process; mounting little resistance later on in life. While there are risks and complications involved with HRT, there are also benefits, which suggests that some of these detrimental consequences could be overturned through a number of different procecures.
Later is better
The latest research, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, covered over 3100 women of the same chronological age who had begun menopause at varying speeds. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they found menopause accelerates aging by an estimate of 6%.
"Our study strongly suggests that the hormonal changes that accompany menopause accelerate biological aging in women. The big question is, 'Which menopausal hormone therapy offers the strongest anti-aging effect while limiting health risks?"
This might not sound like much, but reinforces evidence that menopause increases the risk of developing age-related diseases like osteoporosis. On a hopeful note, the study discovered that women taking hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) were actually able to stave off this acceleration - matching in age to the later menopause group.
Questions for the future
While the study suggests a link, it's not definitely clear. There are also a number of risks that come with HRT such as an increased risk of clots and stroke events. Future therapies seeking to prolong internal hormone production could prove to be effective in delaying this aging process.
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