It is a sad reality that as we grow old we get exposed to new health crises. To worsen the situation, existing diseases make links with each other. As a result, new diseases are very likely to get birth. Especially adults, who are above 40 or 45, are more vulnerable to this health crisis.
A recent study shows that adults who suffer from menopause before the age of 40 or 45 are more vulnerable to dementia. That is, if an individual encounters prolonged menopause, the risks of encountering dementia are greater. This study was revealed by the American Heart Association (AHA) earlier this month.
What Exactly is Menopause And How Is It Linked With Dementia?
menopause is a stage that women experience every year, particularly after the last period. Also called perimenopause, it is a natural mechanism that begins after the age of 45. So, entering into menopause at the standard age - which is between 45 to 50 - is a healthy sign for women.
However, its occurrence prior to standard age is abnormal and may lead to other infectious diseases. Dementia is the prime one among them. A research study at Shandong University in China experimented with two groups of women. One was of the women who started menopause at the standard age of 45 to 50. On the other hand, the other group were the ones who had premature menopause, i.e., before the age of 45.
Turned out that 35% of the second group - those who had premature menopause - had dementia as well. And the majority of them had Alzheimer's disease - which is a particular form of dementia. On the contrary, the first group was not diagnosed with any potential type of dementia.
Nevertheless, the final results remained true as the researchers changed the race, ethnicity, daily routine, and alcohol consumption of the participants. They found a complex linkage between menopause and all the potential forms of dementia. These include:
- Early Onset Dementia
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Mixed Dementia
- Huntington’s Disease
- Vascular Dementia
A Grand Awareness is a Crying Need of the Day
Based on the final results of the study, the researchers recommend that greater awareness among women is mandatory to avoid any of these diseases. The research suggests that women should educate themselves about the technicalities of menopause and “not consider premature menopause as a normal occurrence.”
However, it is pertinent to mention that though the linkage between menopause and dementia is keen, the study is still underway to find out the causes behind it. Dr. Hao, the director of the research study, asserts: “We are unclear about the exact linkage between the two. But what we are sure about is there is one. And we assume that the estrogen level is the major culprit behind the cognitive impairment.”