Osteoporosis is one of the most significant health concerns that a woman who has gone through menopause will face. It’s important to understand a little bit about osteoporosis, and about how a woman who goes through early menopause may actually face greater risks from the disease than women who go through menopause later.
Menopause is the time when you stop having periods and you’re no longer able to have children. Once you’ve had an entire year without a period, you are medically considered to be post-menopausal. Menopause usually starts at about the age of 50, but for other women it can set in early, often as early as the age of 40 years old.
There are other situations in which a woman might enter menopause early, as well. For example, if a woman has ovarian cancer and must have her ovaries removed, she’ll start menopause.
According to research, women that go through menopause prior to their 48th birthday have significantly higher risks of developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that causes a person to have weak bones, and often leads to fractures and other breaks.
In one study comparing women who went into menopause early and women who went into menopause late, about 56% of women who had early menopause developed osteoporosis by the age of 77. Their mortality rate was about 52.4%.
This was significantly different from the women who started menopause later on. Only about 30% of those women developed osteoporosis. Their mortality rate was significantly lower at 35.2% as well.
The women who went into menopause earlier tended to have more bone fractures than those who went into menopause later on. About 45% of women who went into early menopause had fracture incidents, while just under 31% of women who went through menopause later on had bone fracture incidents.
Researchers aren’t certain exactly how this all may be connected, and they indicate that more research needs to be done in this area. If you’ve gone through menopause, it’s important to follow your doctor’s advice about nutrition, so you’re getting all of the nutrients you need to help keep your bones strong.