No Higher Risk for Type 2 Diabetes In Natural Menopause versus Ovarian Removal Menopause

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No Higher Risk for Type 2 Diabetes In Natural Menopause versus Ovarian Removal MenopauseNo Higher Risk for Type 2 Diabetes In Natural Menopause versus Ovarian Removal Menopause: Whether menopause comes naturally as a female ages or is brought on at an earlier age due to a hysterectomy that involves ovary removal, there is no increase in the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and the risk for type 2 diabetes does not increase.

This is the finding of a recent menopausal study that specifically targeted women who had natural menopause and also included women who had had their ovaries removed.  In all other studies, the natural menopausal women and the ovarian-removed menopausal women were combined together in a group rather than being separated.   This study is unique in that it separated the natural versus ovarian removal menopause for analysis and study.

This conclusion came as a result of a study carried out by the University of Michigan Health System.  The lead author of the study, Catherine Kim., M.D., M.P.H., an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, stated, “In our study, menopause had no additional effect or risk for diabetes.”  Dr. Kim added, “Menopause is one of many small steps in aging and it doesn’t mean women’s health will be worse after going through this transition.”

It was previously thought that postmenopausal women were at higher risks for type 2 diabetes because of a relatively high level of testosterone, the male hormone, which is considered a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.  This study concluded that was not the case.

This study also gave new information on the effect of diet and exercise and hormone replacement therapy on the overall health of menopausal women.

The participants of the study were enrolled in the Diabetes Prevention Program, which was a clinical trial of adults with glucose intolerance.  Glucose intolerance is the body’s struggle to convert glucose, or blood sugar, into energy.  Glucose intolerance at times leads to type 2 diabetes.  There are many factors that contribute to the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, and these include age, weight, physical activity and family history.

When someone is diagnosed with glucose intolerance, the Diabetes Prevention Program study showed that lifestyle intervention and the addition of Metformin, a drug commonly used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, as a preventive measure can delay or stop the progression to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in women who have gone through menopause.  Lifestyle changes would consist of losing 7 percent of a person’s body weight and exercising at least 150 minutes per week.  The study found that more research is needed on the role that hormone replacement therapy plays in the risk for type 2 diabetes.

The results of this study will appear in the magazine Menopause.  Funding for the research was provided by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the National Institute on Aging, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Diabetes Association.

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