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First Periods Before Age 10 Hikes Risk of Future Lung Complaints

by Tanya Thomas on April 10, 2011 at 10:15 AM
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 First Periods Before Age 10 Hikes Risk of Future Lung Complaints

A new study has found that women who suffer from asthma or poor lung function as adults generally started their periods at the age of 10 or before.

"Adult women who had their first menstruation at the age of 10 or earlier have significantly lower lung capacity than women who had their first period at 13," Ferenc Macsali, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Haukeland Hospital in Bergen (Norway), said.

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The experts discovered that women who underwent early menarche (first menstruation) suffer more frequently from asthma, suggesting that metabolic and hormonal factors have an impact on the respiratory system.

In addition, these girls tend to be smaller in stature and have higher levels of body fat than other girls their age.

The study, carried out on 3,354 women aged between 27 and 55, is part of a multi-centre study called the European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS).
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According to the study, early menstruation is more common in southern Europe and primarily affects women from large families. Smoking is also related to the onset of menstruation, since women who smoke tended to have their first period at the age of 10 or before.

"The link between lower lung function, asthma and early menarche goes back to birth", the expert said.

"This unfavourable intrauterine environment is possibly related to poor foetal lung development, which will affect this person over their whole life", he added.

The findings were published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Source: ANI
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