A recent study has found that early puberty and late menopause have better chances of surviving a broken hip.Broken hips are a common symptom of osteoporosis, or brittle bone disease. Most women who sustain a hip fracture survive, but sometimes death can occur as a result.
Researchers in Norway sought to investigate the impact a woman's reproductive variables, such as age when her periods start, age when she first has a child and age at which the menopause started, on deaths from hip fractures. They studied 54,000 women over a period of 31 years. Of these, 465 died as a result of a hip fracture in the course of the study.
Those whose first period was separated from their menopause by less than 30 years were twice as likely to die from the fracture than those with 38 years or more between the two. Those who had their first child when they were over the age of 35 also had a lower risk of a fatal hip fracture.
The researchers, led by Dr Bjarne Jacobsen of the University of Tromso, said that women with more reproductive years are exposed to oestrogens for longer and this maintains bone strength.However, they added that it might be possible to avoid fractures by having a first child later in life.