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A comprehensive population study of women in Göteborg, Sweden was carried out in 1968–1969. Altogether 1462 women in five age strata were studied. The age stratum 50 comprised about the same number of postmenopausal women (n = 161) and women who still menstruated (n = 168). A comparison could, therefore, be made between still menstruating and postmenopausal women of almost identical age. In postmenopausal 50-yr-old women 50% were smokers compared to 26% in 50-yr-old women who still menstruated. The difference was highly significant. Almost all the postmenopausal women had been smokers for many years, which means that they did not start smoking as a consequence of the menopause. It thus seemed that an earlier menopause was a consequence of smoking. The difference could not or only to a small extent be explained by other factors such as differences in body weight between smokers and non-smokers.
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Accepted: October 6, 1978
Received: July 25, 1978
© 1979 Published by Elsevier Inc.