Study links Smoking, Secondhand Smoke to Early Menopause, Increased risk of Infertility
Smoking is capable of causing more than lung damage. Active and passive smoking may raise risk of infertility and trigger early menopause in women, according to a new study.
Andrew Hyland, an author of the study and chair of health behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said secondhand smoke is a less researched topic, especially among women who never smoked.
The study included women who were a part of the Women's Health Initiative, a study in 1991 that considered a number of health issues in over 160,000 generally healthy women. Hyland and his colleagues evaluated age of menopause and fertility. They also looked at tobacco exposure. They considered about 88,000 women to observe fertility effects, onset of natural, or nonsurgical, menopause.
The researchers found that women who were exposed to smoking and secondhand smoke had fertility issues. These women also experience early menopause, the researchers noticed. Hyland said, “Compared with never smokers, current or former smokers were 14% more likely to be infertile and 26% more likely to have early menopause. Early menopause has been linked with a higher risk of death from all causes”.
The never smoker women, who were exposed to secondhand smoke had 18% chances of experiencing fertility problems and early menopause, as per the study. Those participants who had ever smoked reach menopause approximately 22 months before the women who never smoke, or were not exposed to smoke. Women with highest level exposure of passive smoke reached menopause more than one year before those who were not exposed, the study explained.
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