12 Oct '11, 2am
Women who exercise a lot are more likely to hit menopause earlier: Study
(REUTERS) - Women who spend a lot of time exercising or eat a heart-healthy diet appear to reach menopause earlier, according to a Japanese study - findings that researchers say could be important for cancer prevention. Researchers led by Dr Chisato Nagata at Gifu University tracked more than 3,100 pre-menopausal women over 10 years. Those who exercised the most - about eight to 10 hours a week - were 17 per cent more likely to start menopause during the study than their sedentary peers. Similarly, women who ate the most polyunsaturated fats, found in many fish and vegetable oils, were 15 per cent more likely to reach menopause than those who got the least. During menopause, a woman's ovaries stop producing eggs and she can no longer get pregnant. It usually begins between ages 41 and 55.