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Depression, hormone therapy and the menopausal transition among women aged 45-64 years using Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging baseline data

Video Author: Alison Shea
Published on: 06.26.2020
Associated with: Menopause. 27(7):763-770, July 2020

The menopause transition is a vulnerable time for mental health and it is important to better understand the risk factors for depression during this time. This study using baseline data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging shows that premature menopause and the use of hormone therapy, as well as low education, low household income, living alone, being nulliparous, and having low social support are associated with current depression measured using the Center for Epidemiologic studies Short Depression Scale.

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Our research aims to determine the associations between metabolic syndrome (MetS), serum heavy metal levels, vitamin and curry rice consumption during menopause.
As it is known, over the last few decades the consumption of high-fat, saturated, high energy diets, alcohol consumption, and smoking have increased in South Korea. These lifestyle changes have resulted in a rapid increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Of note, the prevalence of MetS has increased more rapidly in women than in men due to the effects of aging and estrogen loss in menopause.

Growing evidence indicates heavy metals are a risk factor for MetS. Unfortunately, rapid industrialization and urbanization have increased heavy metal exposure.

Recent research has increased understanding of the impact of diet on MetS. For example, it has been established that daily vitamin intake and vegetable and fruit consumption reduce MetS risk in the general population. Curried rice is a popular food in Korea and contains a high concentration of curcumin, which is helpful for preventing and/or treating MetS because of its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A data set of 7,131 pre- and post-menopausal women aged ≥ 20 years collected between 2009 and 2017 was used to obtain information on sociodemographic, lifestyles, family histories, food intakes, and serum heavy metal levels, and MetS.

Our results show that:

  • Postmenopausal women had a higher risk of MetS than premenopausal women.

During post-menopause:

  • Cadmium exposure increased the risk of MetS.
  • Elevated Hb levels were found to be positively associated with the prevalence of MetS, which suggests that Hb might be useful clinically to evaluate body iron status during menopause.
  • Our findings show higher HbA1c levels are associated with a significantly higher risk of MetS development during menopause. These results suggest that HbA1c levels might be a predictive clinical biomarker of MetS, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes during menopause.
  • High curry consumption reduced the risk of MetS significantly more than low curry consumption in premenopausal women. Furthermore, an increase in daily vitamin B2 intake by one mg reduced the risk of MetS by 45% in postmenopausal women.
Vitamin B2 and curry supplementation may protect against MetS. However, the cross-sectional design of the study prevented evaluations of causality between MetS, heavy metals, vitamin, and curry intakes. Further work is needed to reduce risk factors associated with heavy metals and to determine the effects of vitamins and curry consumption on MetS during menopause.
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