Irregular periods linked to a greater risk of an early death, study suggests

2020/10/05  13:20

Today's Vocabulary

1. mortality (n) 
the way that people do not live forever

2. diagnosis (n)
a judgment about what a particular illness or problem is, made after examining it

3. underlying (adj)
real but not immediately obvious

4. alarmed (adj)
worried or frightened by something

5. assess (v) 
to judge or decide the amount, value, quality, or importance of something

6. treat (v) 
to use drugs, exercises, etc. to cure a person of a disease or heal an injury

7. chronic (adj)
(especially of a disease or something bad) continuing for a long time

Irregular periods linked to a greater risk of an early death, study suggests

Doctors should pay more attention to women’s menstrual cycles and treat them as an additional vital sign to assess a patient’s health, researchers have said, after a new study found a link between irregular periods and a greater risk of early death.

A team of mostly US-based researchers found that women who reported always having irregular menstrual cycles experienced higher mortality rates than women who reported very regular cycles in the same age ranges. 

Irregular and long menstrual cycles have been associated with a higher risk of major chronic diseases including ovarian cancer, coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and mental health problems, the study said.

Experts said that women who experience irregular or long menstrual cycles shouldn’t be alarmed by the findings of the study. Dr. Jacqueline Maybin, a senior research fellow and consultant gynecologist at the University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Reproductive Health said it’s important to remember that irregular menstruation is likely a symptom, not a diagnosis.

“A specific underlying cause of irregular menstruation may increase the risk of premature death, rather than the irregular bleeding, per se. We already know that women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of irregular periods, have an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer of the womb, ” she said.

“Young women with irregular periods need a thorough assessment not only of their hormones and metabolism but also of their lifestyle so that they can be advised about steps that they can take which might enhance their overall health,” said Dr. Adam Balen, who wasn’t involved in the study.


  1. What are the problems if periods are irregular?
  2. Can you still get pregnant with irregular periods?
  3. What is considered an irregular period?

“When she bleeds the smells I know change colour. There is iron in her soul on those days. She smells like a gun.”

Jeanette Winterson