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Approved Research

Predictors of menopause onset, and their impact on cardiometabolic health and mortality

Principal Investigator: Professor Taulant Muka
Approved Research ID: 82369
Approval date: July 6th 2022

Lay summary

In this three years study, the first aim is to build two risk prediction modelsĀ  to predict the time of menopause onset and early menopause. Then, we will identify a menopausal dietary pattern that is associated with later onset of natural menopause. Lastly, we will investigate the relation of the generated menopausal dietary pattern with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and mortality, and whether the dietary pattern can modify the genetic predisposition to early menopause onset. Timing of menopause is not only crucial for fertility due to the trend of postponing childbearing, but also for future disease risk. Early menopause onset (e.g., <45 years) is associated with negative cardiometabolic alterations, and increased rates of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Thus, understanding predictors and modifiable factors such as diet related to menopause onset is becoming the forefront of scientific challenges in the field of reproductive health. Several studies have shown dietary factors can affect menopause-related health domains, but there is no dietary pattern exclusively focused in women and in improving simultaneously the diseases associated with menopause, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This project, by generating a risk prediction model of menopause onset, may not only help clinicians regarding contraception, assisted reproduction and management of menorrhagia, but also may alert women in reproductive ages of health-related complications due to early menopause. Identifying a dietary pattern that can delay menopause onset, has the potential to increase overall life expectancy and the number of years of life spent free of chronic disease, and thus will have clinical and public health implications. Living longer and disease free will lead to better quality of life and lesser financial burden.