Menopause Increases Memory Loss In Women: Study

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There’s a biological reason why your mother and grandmother may sometimes be a bit forgetful or fuzzy when it comes to day-to-day tasks. A study shows that the drop in estrogen levels during menopause causes memory loss in women.

The study, published in the the journal Menopause, included 212 men and women between 45 and 55 years old. Memory thinking tests used to rate memory, executive function, word processing and verbal intelligence were given to the participants.

Copyright: roboriginal / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: roboriginal / 123RF Stock Photo

The results showed that menopausal women had worse memory than women who had not yet experienced menopause. Lower estrogen levels were also associated with lower rates of learning information and overall memory recall. But researchers said that long term memory was not affected.

“Brain fog and complaints of memory issues should be taken seriously,” said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in a news release. “This study and others have shown that these complaints are associated with memory deficits.”

Researchers in the same study said that while menopausal women are more forgetful, a common complaint of aging which affects nearly 75 percent of older people, they still outperform men overall on memory tests.

Earlier Menopause Poses Greater Health Risks

Researchers in a separate study found that women who begin natural menopause at 45 years of age are more prone to develop heart problems and die younger than women who undergo menopause later in life.

There are no clear cut reasons why early menopause is directly linked to increased health risks. But earlier loss of ovarian function could set off hormonal changes that cause inflammation and vascular damage. And because menopause is a sign of overall aging, and marks the end of estrogen hormonal activity, it most likely influences the likelihood of suffering from heart disease and other health conditions.

This data shows that menopausal age is not only a good predictor of who is at risk for cardiovascular disease, but it can also be used and aid in early intervention to help identify and prevent heart disease and other health problems before they start.