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Menopause, alternatively known as Climacteric, is a condition wherein a woman’s menstrual cycle stops and she is no more able to achieve a pregnancy. The condition is caused due to hormonal changes and affects women in their late 40s or early to mid-fifties. A host of factors these days are making women experience early menopause. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and lack of physical activity may often lead some women to experience hormonal imbalance which may often trigger early menopause. A recently conducted study mentions hormonal therapy as a viable option to treat common menopause symptoms.

Using hormone replacement therapy to treat common symptoms of menopause for up to five to seven years may be safe and not associated with risk of all-cause, cardiovascular or cancer death, a study with over 18 years of follow-up has found. The study was published by JAMA and conducted by experts at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, United States. Hormonal therapy works by replacing the depleting levels of female hormones and aid in reducing menopausal symptoms like hot flashes in women. After conducting a comparative study between menopausal women on placebo and other female participants on hormonal therapy, it was found that hormonal therapy helped in reducing menopausal symptoms without having an impact on the death rates. The participants were followed for 18 years and were tracked for chronic diseases like cancer, as well as heart attack and deaths. The women took the hormone therapy for five to seven years.

Another recently conducted study looked at the role of diet in preventing risks of early menopause. Early menopause – the cessation of ovarian function before the age of 45 – affects about 10 per cent of women globally and is associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and early cognitive decline. Experts at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the US noted that a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium may help stave off risks of early menopause. In a combined study teams from Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health and University of Massachusetts Amherst found that women who consume items like oats, barley, brown rice and soy may keep early menopause at bay.

Inputs from IANS