A new study elaborated by a team of researchers argues that doctors should be more interested in the menstrual cycles of women and take them into account as a vital sign that can be used to evaluate overall health.
The team has discovered a link between irregular periods and greater risk of early death as women with irregular menstrual cycles can experience higher mortality rates in comparison to women who report regular cycles within the same age groups. Factors like lifestyle, age, weight, medical history, and use of contraceptives were also taken into account.
During the study, 79,505 participants with no symptoms or history tied to cancer, diabetes, or heart disease were observed. The women were asked to report the length and regularity of menstrual cycles within three different age groups: 14 to 17, 18 to 22, and 29 to 46 years.
The amount of information that has been collected during the study could play an important role in closing the breach that can be found in women’s health. It can also serve as a base or important component of many studies that will take place in the future.
Women who reported a cycle length of 40 days or more between the ages of 19 to 22 and 29 to 46 were more likely to die before the age of 70. The same risk was lower among women who reported cycle length between 26 to 31 days within the same age groups.
The links seem to be more pronounced in the case of deaths caused by heart disease or cancer. However, experts have noted that women who experience irregular menstrual cycles or cycles which are really long shouldn’t worry since the study was observational, and it cannot establish a direct link.
A full version of the study has been published in a scientific journal.