Menopause in Type 1 Diabetic Women: Is it Premature?

Janice S. Dorman, Ann R. Steenkiste, Thomas P. Foley, Elsa S. Strotmeyer, James P. Burke, Lewis H. Kuller, C. Kent Kwoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Women with type 1 diabetes have a delayed menarche and a greater prevalence of menstrual disorders than women without diabetes. However, little is known about the menopause transition among type 1 diabetic women. The Familial Autoimmune and Diabetes (FAD) Study recruited both adult individuals who were identified from the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Type 1 Diabetes Registry for the years 1950-1964 and their family members. Unrelated nondiabetic control probands and their relatives were also evaluated. Women with type 1 diabetes (n = 143) compared with nondiabetic sisters (n = 186) or unrelated control subjects (n = 160) were more likely to have an older age at menarche (13.5, 12.5, and 12.6 years, respectively, P < 0.001), more menstrual irregularities before 30 years of age (45.7, 33.3, and 33.1%, respectively, P = 0.04), and a younger age at menopause (41.6, 49.9, and 48.0 years, respectively, P = 0.05). This resulted in a 6-year reduction in the number of reproductive years (30.0, 37.0, and 35.2 years, respectively, P = 0.05) for women with type 1 diabetes. Risk factors univariately associated with earlier menopause included type 1 diabetes (hazard ratio [HR] 1.99, P = 0.04), menstrual irregularities before 30 years of age (HR 1.87, P = 0.04), nulliparity (HR 2.14, P = 0.01), and unilateral oophorectomy (HR 6.51, P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that type 1 diabetes (HR 1.98, P = 0.056), menstrual irregularities by 30 years of age (HR 2.36, P = 0.01), and unilateral oophorectomy (HR 9.76, P < 0.0001) were independent determinants of earlier menopause in our cohort. We hypothesize that an earlier menopause, which resulted in a 17% decrease in reproductive years, is a major unstudied complication of type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1857-1862
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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