Association of age at diabetes complication diagnosis with age at natural menopause in women with type 1 diabetes: The Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications (EDC) Study.


Female participants of the Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications study with type 1 diabetes who experienced natural menopause and who never received hormone therapy during their menopausal transition were included in the analysis (n=105). Microalbuminuria (MA), overt nephropathy, proliferative retinopathy, confirmed distal symmetric polyneuropathy, and coronary artery disease, were assessed during biennial clinical exanimations for the first 10 years of follow-up and at year 18, 25 and 30. Menopausal status was determined via self-report and sex hormone data. For each complication, separate linear regression models were used to assess whether, compared with women without the complication of interest, an earlier age at complication development (i.e., <30 years of age) was associated with an earlier age at natural menopause.

Vascular damage is thought to have a role in premature ovarian aging. We thus assessed the association between the presence, and age at onset of, vascular diabetes complications and age at natural menopause in women with type 1 diabetes.

Although results from multivariable linear regression models suggested a similar age at menopause between women with normo-albuminuria and those diagnosed with MA after 30 years of age, menopause occurred 2.06 years earlier (β±SE=-2.06±1.08) among women diagnosed with MA before age 30 (p=0.06). No significant association was observed for other complications.

Among women with type 1 diabetes, menopause appears to occur earlier in those diagnosed with MA before age 30 compared to those with normo-albuminuria, suggesting that vascular dysfunction associated with early microvascular disease may affect ovarian aging.

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Yan Yi

Graduate Student
University of Pittsburgh