New Delhi: Apple has revealed new preliminary findings from the Apple Women’s Health Study, which underscore the importance of paying attention to menstrual cycles and their connection to overall health.
According to a newsroom post by Apple, this is a first-of-its-kind research study conducted with the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) that aims to advance the understanding of menstrual cycles and how they relate to various health conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), infertility, and the menopausal transition.
What the findings revealed
The researchers from Harvard Chan School used survey data from the Apple Women’s Health Study to advance the scientific understanding around the relationship between persistently abnormal periods, PCOS, and endometrial hyperplasia and cancer.
The study team found that 12 per cent of participants reported a PCOS diagnosis. “Participants with PCOS had more than four times the risk of endometrial hyperplasia (precancer of the uterus) and more than 2.5 times the risk of uterine cancer,” according to Apple.
Further, 5.7 per cent of participants reported their cycles taking five or more years to reach cycle regularity after their first period. “Participants in that group had more than twice the risk of endometrial hyperplasia and more than 3.5 times the risk of uterine cancer, compared to those who reported their cycles took less than one year to reach regularity,” as per the findings.
“More awareness on menstrual cycle physiology and the impact of irregular periods and PCOS on uterine health is needed,” said Dr. Shruthi Mahalingaiah, MS, Harvard Chan School’s assistant professor of Environmental Reproductive and Women’s Health and co-principal investigator of the Apple Women’s Health Study.
“This analysis highlights the importance of talking to a healthcare provider when menstruators are experiencing persistent changes to their period that span many months. Over time, we hope our research can lead to new strategies to reduce disease risk and improve health across the lifespan.” The study team will conduct further analyses on this preliminary data for scientific publication.