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Underweight women are at increased risk of early menopause

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NEW YORK — Underweight women,teenagers or in their mid-30s, are at increased risk for early menopause compared to lean or normal weight women, a new study has found.

Early menopause, defined as naturally occurring menopause before age 45, is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and other health conditions such as cognitive decline, osteoporosis and premature death, according to a study appearing in the journal Human Reproduction.

This study followed 78,759 premenopausal women ages 25 to 42 beginning in 1989. Over the following 22 years, 2,804 of them reported natural menopause before age 45.

After controlling for smoking, pregnancies, oral contraceptive use and other factors, they found that compared with women who had a body mass index of 18.5 to 22.4 (within the normal range), those with a BMI under 18.5 at any age had a 30 percent increased risk of early menopause.

The results showed that women who were underweight at any age (BMI of less than 18.5 kg/m2) had a significant, 30 per cent increased risk of early menopause compared with lean or normal weight women (BMI between 18.5-22.4 kg/m2) while overweight women with BMIs between 25-29.9 kg/m2 had a 21-30 per cent lower risk of early menopause compared to normal weight women.

The lead author, Kathleen L Szegda, who was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, when the work was done, said the reasons for the link between weight and the timing of menopause are unclear and that more research is needed to replicate these results.

“Early menopause is associated with several health conditions, including osteoporosis, dementia, heart disease and early death, “and has implications for family planning,” she said.

With Inputs from Agency

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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