Starting Your Period Before Age 13 Could Raise Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Girls who started their period before age 13 were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in their adult years, according to a new study published on December 5 in BMJ Nutrition Prevention and Health.

In the women who developed diabetes, there was also an association found between early menstruation and having a stroke before age 65, especially in those who started their monthly cycles at age 10 or younger.

Based on these findings, women who started their periods at a very early age might be at higher risk for developing diabetes and diabetes complications in early adulthood and midlife, says coauthor Sylvia Ley, PhD, RD, an assistant professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans.

“These high-risk women may consider watching out for other early-onset metabolic risk factor changes, such as blood sugar levels, lipid profile [cholesterol and triglycerides], and blood pressure in early and middle adulthood,” says Dr. Ley.

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