Having Children, Breastfeeding May Cut Risk of Early Menopause

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are associated with a reduced risk for early menopause, new research suggests.

Menopause before age 45 has been linked to osteoporosis, depression, dementia, cardiovascular disease and premature death. It affects about 10 percent of women in the United States.

The new study, published in JAMA Network Open, used data on 108,887 women, following their health from 1989 to 2015 with interviews every two years.

After adjusting for other health factors, they found that compared to women who had no babies, those who had one had an 8 percent reduced risk for early menopause, those who had two a 16 percent lower risk and women who had three a 22 percent lower risk.

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