THURSDAY, Aug. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For rural Chinese women, a history of early menarche is associated with an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), with the correlation partially mediated by adult body mass index (BMI), according to a study published online July 29 in Menopause.

Lulu Zhang, M.D., from the College of Public Health at Zhengzhou University in China, and colleagues enrolled 15,346 postmenopausal women to examine the correlation between age at menarche and risk for T2DM in rural Chinese women. Mediation analysis was used to examine the potential mediating effect of BMI.

The researchers found that the early menarche group (≤14 years) had an increased risk for T2DM compared with the reference group (age 16 to 17 years) after adjustment for multiple confounders (odds ratio, 1.21); the late-onset group (≥19 years) had a reduced risk for T2DM (odds ratio, 0.78). The correlation between age at menarche and T2DM was partially mediated by BMI, and the proportion of the effect was 28 percent.

“Our study provides evidence that the mean age at menarche of rural Chinese women is delayed relative to that found in western countries and that this later menarche is associated with a lower risk of T2DM, whereas early menarche is associated with a higher risk of T2DM,” the authors write.

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