Being undernourished in the womb makes it more likely that a woman will experience early menopause and premature ovarian failure in relation to non-malnourished women during fetal development, according to a unique study of a large sample of Chinese women who lived the Great
The findings were
recently published in Menopause the journal of the North American Menopause Society.
"We examined the association of early exposure of life to famine with the results of reproductive aging, indicated by early menopause and FOP, among Chinese women who were born around the Chinese famine period (1956-1964)," Gang Chen, MD, Shengli Clinical Medical College, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, China, and their colleagues explain.
"[And] we demonstrated that prenatal exposure to famine was associated with ovarian aging, and such an association was independent of traditional risk factors, including obesity," they added.
the amine occurred in China between 1959 and 1961 and caused millions of deaths.
For the analysis, 2868 women were grouped into three categories according to exposure to hunger in the womb: a group exposed to childhood born between October 1, 1956 and September 30. , 1958, a group exposed to the fetus born between October 1, 1959 and September 30, 1961, and an unexposed group born between October 1, 1962 and September 30, 1964.
"The The primary outcome of the present study was the female reproductive aging, indicated by early menopause and FOP, "the researchers observed.
Premature menopause was defined as the entry to menopause at an age younger than 45 years. POF was defined as entering menopause when it was less than 40 years old.
"Compared to women in the unexposed group, those in the group exposed to the fetus were more likely to have early menopause ( P = .03)," the researchers report.
Different multivariable models were used to calculate the odds ratios (OR) of women entering the early menopause and the POF in relation to early exposure to famine, but the ORs were very similar, regardless of the model used.
"Compared with women without exposure to hunger, those who had fetal exposure were more likely to develop menopause before age 45 [of age] (OR adjusted for early menopause, 1.56) … and showed a tendency not to significant risk of developing menopause before age 40 [of age] (adjusted OR of POF, 1.93), "the researchers say.
Being exposed to famine during childhood was not statistically associated with early menopause or POF, they added.
O early menopause / POF in relation to early exposure to famine
Group without exposure
Fetal exposure group
Childhood – Exposed
|Multivariable model 1||1 1 19659021] 1.56||1.32|
|Multivariable model 2||1||1.59||1.34|
|Raw model||1||1.92||0.90  0.88||1.93||] 1.93||] Multivariate model 2||1||1.94||0.88|
Multivariate model 1 adjusted by community, smoking status, alcohol consumption, educational level and occupational status. The multivariable model 2 is further adjusted for the body mass index.
POF and Famine
Researchers compared the results between women in the group without fetal exposure and women in the fetal exposure group.
In this analysis, they found that women who had been undernourished in the womb were more than twice as likely to experience POF, at an OR of 2.07, compared with women not malnourished in the womb. And the risk of early menopause in the group exposed to the fetus was 37% higher than in the non-exposed women, with an OR of 1.37.
These elevated risks were also independent of the traditional risk factors for early menopause and POF, such as obesity, the researchers note.
In contrast, fetal exposure to famine did not affect other forms of reproductive function, such as the risk of spontaneous abortion or nulliparity.
Researchers speculate that exposure to malnutrition during fetal development could affect the development of reproduction. organs, which in turn could affect menstruation and fertility in later years.
"Malnutrition in early life can reduce the number of oocytes of a woman that form in the uterus and, therefore, result in an increased risk of an early depleted oocyte accumulation, that is, menopause early, "they suggest.
Malnutrition during fetal development can also cause epigenetic changes or contribute to malfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis
"Our study is the first human cohort study in Asia that reports the long-term association between exposure to prenatal famine and reproductive aging, "Chen and his colleagues point out.
"Our finding underscores the importance of adequate nutrition during the early stages of life to avoid adverse effects on reproductive health in adulthood," they conclude.
Chen has not reported any relevant financial relationships.
Menopause. Published on the Internet on December 3, 2018. Summary
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