Global Tobacco Control Updates

Tobacco exposure associated with infertility and earlier menopause
29 Dec 2016
Research Alert

A study published by Tobacco Control assesses the associations between lifetime tobacco exposure (including both active smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke) with infertility and natural menopause before the age 50. The study is based on data from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, a study of post-menopausal women aged 50–79 living in the United States. Of the 93,676 women included in the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, 88,732 had complete data for analysis on fertility and 79,690 had complete data for analysis on natural menopause.

Key Findings

  • Active smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are associated with infertility and earlier natural menopause (before age 50).
    • 15.4 percent of women reported infertility.
    • 45 percent of women reported earlier natural menopause.
  • Active-ever smokers (current or former) reached menopause 21.7 months earlier than the average of 49.4 years for never-smokers not exposed to secondhand smoke.
  • Women exposed to the highest level of secondhand smoke reached menopause 13.0 months earlier.

Key Message

  • Tobacco exposure is associated with infertility and earlier menopause (before age 50). 
  • Strong action must be taken to protect women from the harms of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. 
  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and its Guidelines identify measures to reduce tobacco use and exposure to tobacco smoke, including policies that provide for:
    • Comprehensive smoke-free environments in all public places, workplaces and public transport to protect from secondhand smoke;
    • Comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship;
    • Large pictorial health warnings on tobacco products;  and
    • Tobacco taxation and pricing that reduce the affordability of tobacco products.

Full Citation:

Hyland, Andrew, Kenneth Piazza,et.al. "Associations between Lifetime Tobacco Exposure with Infertility and Age at Natural Menopause: The Women's Health Initiative Observational Study." Tobacco Control 2016; 25: 706-714.

The study abstract [ENGLISH ONLY] is available from:
http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2015/11/19/tobaccocontrol-2015-052510.abstract

Additional Resource:


TAGS:

menopause, women, women and tobacco