Scientists link smog with irregular periods in teens

A Boston University School of Medicine study found a link between air pollution and irregular menstrual cycles.

Scientists link smog with irregular periods in teens

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Scientists link smog with irregular periods in teens


Just by breathing, a teen’s period could be impacted, a new study says.

Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine looked at 34,832 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study 2 (NHSII) in 1989. The study looked at the health of the women and where they lived.

Research shows that air quality can impact menstrual cycle regularity in teens.

Credit: Getty Images

Of that study, the Boston scientists noticed that teenage girls (ages 14-18) exposed to air pollution were associated with slightly higher chances of menstrual irregularity. Those teenagers also took longer to achieve regular periods in high school and early adulthood, according to the university.

The study doesn’t prove cause-and-effect, but study author Dr. Shruthi Mahalingaiah said it does show that air pollution impacts hormonal activity.

“While air pollution exposures have been linked to cardiovascular and pulmonary disease, this study suggests there may be other systems, such as the reproductive endocrine system, that are affected as well.”

The news release announcing the study results, also noted that research has linked smog with infertility, metabolic syndrome (or a cluster of heart risk factors) and polycystic ovary syndrome. For more information, read the full article here. 

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