Impact of climate and environmental change on the menopause

Elsevier, Maturitas, Volume 178, December 2023
Cucinella L., Tiranini L., Nappi R.E.

The huge impact of climate change on humankind is multidimensional, and includes direct and indirect challenges to the physical, psychological and socio-cultural wellbeing. Women may be more vulnerable to climate-sensitive diseases, but little attention has been paid to specific needs and challenges associated with the menopause transition. The increase in average and extreme temperatures may modulate the manifestation of vasomotor symptoms; in particular, environmental temperature and seasonality may affect hot flushes and night sweats. However, more research is needed to define the impact of climate-related factors among the determinants influencing the individual experience of menopause. In addition, increased exposure to environmental pollution and toxins may also have a role in the modulation of ovarian aging mechanisms, possibly influencing timing of menopause. Finally, both air pollution and menopause transition are associated with unfavorable modifications of cardio-metabolic, bone and cognitive health, and account should be taken of these in the evaluation of the individual woman's health vulnerabilities. Overall, the evidence reported in this narrative review supports the need for specific strategies aimed at reducing the burden of climate and environmental change on menopausal women. Healthcare providers should promote behavioral measures that reduce anthropogenic climate change and at the same time have a beneficial role on several domains of physical and psychological wellbeing. From this perspective, menopause represents a golden moment to implement virtuous behaviors that will benefit at the same time women's longevity and the planet.