- Life-long depression and financial hardship may lead to early menopause, according to two 2003 studies. Women with a lifetime history of depression were 20 percent more likely to experience early perimenopause, a precursor to menopause, according to a report in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Depression itself may staunch the production of hormones, according to Bernard Harlow, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Women who lived through extended periods of economic hardship were also more likely to begin this physical transition earlier, according to a report published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. Lauren Wise, a doctoral student at Harvard University, speculates that stress, poor nutrition or toxins such as lead or tobacco smoke accelerate the rate at which eggs are depleted. Egg depletion is a known trigger of perimenopause.
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