HealthDay News — Markers of reproductive history, including age of menarche and parity, may be tied to future diabetes risk in women with a body mass index (BMI) ≥25 kg/m², according to a study published in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

Nirmala Pandeya, Ph.D., from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues used data from 126,721 middle-aged women participating in cohort studies contributing to the International Collaboration for a Life Course Approach to Reproductive Health and Chronic Disease Events to assess the associations of age at menarche, age at first birth, parity, and menopausal status with incident diabetes.

The researchers found that over a median follow-up of nine years, 4,073 cases of diabetes were reported.

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There were non-linear associations with diabetes for age at menarche, parity, and age at first birth. Menarche at ≤10 years was associated with an 18 percent increased risk of diabetes after adjustment for BMI, compared with menarche at age 13 years. The increased risk was observed only in women with BMI ≥25 kg/m² after stratification by BMI. Women with a hysterectomy/oophorectomy had an increased risk of diabetes (relative risk, 1.17) compared with pre-/peri-menopausal women.

“Several markers of a woman’s reproductive history appear to be modestly associated with future risk of diabetes,” the authors write. “Maintaining a normal weight in adult life may ameliorate any increase in risk conferred by early onset of menarche.”

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