According to researchers from the University of Queensland, early menstruation increases the likelihood of hot flushes and nights sweats by 50%
School of Public Health researchers analysed data from more than 18,000 middle-aged women across the UK, USA and Australia, and discovered that women who started menstruating aged 11 or younger had a 50% higher risk of experiencing frequent hot flushes and night sweats.
Dr Hsin-Fang Chung, said: “The risk of the women who menstruated early experiencing both symptoms was greater than having either hot flushes or night sweats alone.
She said that early menstruation has also been previously linked to adverse health conditions later in life, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Project leader Professor Gita Mishra said obesity played a significant role in the findings.
She said: “Women who experienced early menstruation and were overweight or obese in midlife had a two times greater risk of frequent hot flushes and night sweats, compared with women who experienced their first period aged 14 years or older, and had normal weight.
“These findings encourage women with early menstruation to engage in health promotion programs, especially weight management in adulthood.”
The research is published in BJOG: an International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
The study was part of the Life course Approach to reproductive health and Chronic disease Events (InterLACE) international collaboration.