The aim of this study was to assess the association of early menopause with diabetes and the mediating effect of abdominal obesity.
This cross-sectional study was conducted among 5,693 participants. The data from the second follow-up (2015) of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study were used. Participants self-reported their age at menopause and were divided into three age groups (<45, 45-54, and >54 years) according to the 10th, 10th to 90th, and 90th percentiles, with a menopausal age of 45 to 54 years serving as reference. The total effect was decomposed into direct and indirect (mediating) effects using logistic regression based on the Karlson-Holm-Breen method.
Compared to the menopausal age of 45 to 54 years, early menopause (<45 years) was associated with diabetes (odds ratio = 2.19, 95% CI: 1.29-3.69) among Chinese women. The mediating effect of early menopause (<45 years) on diabetes was 4.98% (P = 0.321) for abdominal obesity.
Early menopause may be associated with diabetes among Chinese women. Moreover, the mediating effect of abdominal obesity makes up a small percentage and has no statistical significance. Further studies are needed to examine other mechanisms behind the association of early menopause with diabetes.