Household chemical exposure may trigger early menopause

January 30th, 2015
Household chemical exposure may trigger early menopause
Women who are exposed to certain chemicals are more likely to experience menopause at a younger age, according to a newly published study by a researcher from the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus.

The study, published in the journal PLOS One, reports that women exposed to certain chemicals experienced menopause 1.9 years to 3.8 years earlier than women with lower levels of the same chemicals. Women exposed to these same chemicals were up to six times more likely to be menopausal than non-exposed women.

Natalia Grindler, MD, an instructor and fellow in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and her fellow authors reviewed data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2008, covering 31,575 women. The survey, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covers a cross section of the U.S. population.

The researchers evaluated the levels of 111 potential chemicals present in the women surveyed and found that 15 of those chemicals, which are used in cosmetics, plastics and household cleaners, could be causing women to go through menopause early. The chemicals associated with cases of early menopause included phthalates, polychlorinated biphenyls, surfactants and organophosphate pesticides.

"Our study shows there is a clinically significant association between levels of these chemicals and the age at menopause in a large cross section of U.S. women," Grindler said. "Early menopause is not the only negative health impact. Any early decline in ovarian function could increase rates of infertility and lead to earlier development of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and other medical problems among women."

Avoiding exposure to products with these chemicals is nearly impossible, so a greater understanding of how these chemicals affect reproductive health and interact with genetic predispositions and environmental factors is needed, Grindler said.

"We support the use of an approach that captures lifestyle, behavior and other exposures from conception onward," Grindler said. "The health of future generations is at risk and without further research in this area those born today could be affected in decades to come."

More information:
http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-01-earlier-menopause-linked-everyday-chemical.html

Provided by University of Colorado Denver

This Phys.org Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization mentioned above and is provided to you “as is” with little or no review from Phys.Org staff.

More news stories

Technology near for real-time TV political fact checks

A Duke University team expects to have a product available for election year that will allow television networks to offer real-time fact checks onscreen when a politician makes a questionable claim during a speech or debate.

Classic double-slit experiment in a new light

An international research team led by physicists from the University of Cologne has implemented a new variant of the basic double-slit experiment using resonant inelastic X-ray scattering at the European Synchrotron ESRF ...