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UMass Study Shows Link Between Early Menopause And Nutrition

500 mg calcium supplements, with vitamin D.
500 mg calcium supplements, with vitamin D.

A study out of UMass Amherst shows a possible connection between the early onset of menopause and the some common nutrients.

The study looked at more than 116,000 women, who were tracked starting in 1989. It found that those who consumed the most vitamin D and calcium in the foods they ate were at a 17 percent lower risk of early menopause compared to those who ate the least.

"Early menopause is a problem because women who experience early menopause are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, early cognitive decline and other outcomes, as well as it has implications for couples who are trying to conceive," said lead author Alexandra Purdue-Smithe, a doctoral candidate at UMass.

Purdue-Smithe said this is the first study to show a link between early menopause, and vitamin D and calcium. She cautioned that more research is needed to back up the findings.

Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect spelling of the lead author's last name.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.