Is Delaying Menopause the Key to Longevity?

by | Jun 24, 2024 | Science

In March, first lady Jill Biden announced a new White House women’s health initiative that highlighted a seemingly obscure research question: What if you could delay menopause and all the health risks associated with it?The question comes from a field of research that has started to draw attention over the last few years, as scientists who study longevity and women’s health have come to realize that the female reproductive system is far more than just a baby-maker. The ovaries, in particular, appear to be connected to virtually every aspect of a woman’s health.They also abruptly stop performing their primary role in midlife. Once that happens, a woman enters menopause, which accelerates her aging and the decline of other organ systems, like the heart and the brain. While women, on average, live longer than men, they spend more time living with diseases or disabilities.Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York TimesThe ovaries are “the only organ in humans that we just accept will fail one day,” said Renee Wegrzyn, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, a government agency tasked with steering Jill Biden’s mission. “It’s actually kind of wild that we all just accept that.”It is the ovaries’ truncated life span that also makes them such a promising site for experimentation. Researchers think that prolonging their function, better aligning the length of their viability with that of other organs, could potentially alter the course of a woman’s health — and longevity research overall.Wegrzyn said she hoped the White House initiative, in which researchers and startups are competing for a slice of the program’s $100 million budget, will highlight the connection between menopause and longevity, while also attracting more funding and talent to the field.“If you don’t think about ovarian function during aging,” said Jennifer Garrison, an assistant professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, “then you’re kind of missing the boat.” How the Ovaries Are Involved in Aging The ovaries function like the control cente …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnIn March, first lady Jill Biden announced a new White House women’s health initiative that highlighted a seemingly obscure research question: What if you could delay menopause and all the health risks associated with it?The question comes from a field of research that has started to draw attention over the last few years, as scientists who study longevity and women’s health have come to realize that the female reproductive system is far more than just a baby-maker. The ovaries, in particular, appear to be connected to virtually every aspect of a woman’s health.They also abruptly stop performing their primary role in midlife. Once that happens, a woman enters menopause, which accelerates her aging and the decline of other organ systems, like the heart and the brain. While women, on average, live longer than men, they spend more time living with diseases or disabilities.Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York TimesThe ovaries are “the only organ in humans that we just accept will fail one day,” said Renee Wegrzyn, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, a government agency tasked with steering Jill Biden’s mission. “It’s actually kind of wild that we all just accept that.”It is the ovaries’ truncated life span that also makes them such a promising site for experimentation. Researchers think that prolonging their function, better aligning the length of their viability with that of other organs, could potentially alter the course of a woman’s health — and longevity research overall.Wegrzyn said she hoped the White House initiative, in which researchers and startups are competing for a slice of the program’s $100 million budget, will highlight the connection between menopause and longevity, while also attracting more funding and talent to the field.“If you don’t think about ovarian function during aging,” said Jennifer Garrison, an assistant professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, “then you’re kind of missing the boat.” How the Ovaries Are Involved in Aging The ovaries function like the control cente …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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