Bone Risk: Is Time Since Menopause a Better Predictor Than Age?
Although early menopause is linked to increased risks in bone loss and fracture, new research indicates that, even among the majority of women who have menopause after age 45, the time since the final menstrual period can be a stronger predictor than chronological age for key risks in bone health and fracture. In a large longitudinal cohort, the number of years since a woman's final menstrual period specifically showed a stronger association with femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) than chronological age, while an earlier age at menopause – even among those over 45 years, was linked to an increased risk of fracture.
@mainak An increased focus on the significance of age at the time of the final menstrual period, compared with chronological age, has gained interest in risk assessment because of the known acceleration in the decline of BMD that occurs 1 year prior to the final menstrual period and continues at a rapid pace for 3 years afterwards before slowing. To further investigate the association with BMD, Shieh, an endocrinologist specializing in osteoporosis at the University of California, Los Angeles, and his colleagues turned to data from the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a longitudinal cohort study of ambulatory women with pre- or early perimenopausal baseline data and 15 annual follow-up assessments.