What is it about?

The menopause has been examined in relation to several health conditions, but little is known about its effect on the lungs. To answer the question “do postmenopausal women have lower lung function than premenopausal women?” we analysed data from more than 140,000 women taking part in the UK Biobank and who had provided good quality measurements of their lung function and information on their menstrual status.

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Why is it important?

We found that the lungs of women who had natural menopause were smaller than those of premenopausal women, and that the effect of menopause was stronger in women who had had their womb and/or ovaries removed. We also found that women who had menopause early in life were more likely to have their lungs affected. Even though more research on this topic is needed, our findings should increase clinicians’ awareness to the risk of poor lung function in postmenopausal women, especially in those who have an early menopause.

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This page is a summary of: Lower lung function associates with cessation of menstruation: UK Biobank data, European Respiratory Journal, September 2016, European Respiratory Society (ERS), DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00412-2016.
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