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

Irregular and long menstrual cycles have been associated with a higher risk of major chronic diseases.

(CNN)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. The study took into account other potentially influential factors, such as age, weight, lifestyle, contraceptives and family medical history.