Year of Publication



Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Erin Abner, PhD

Committee Member

Steven Fleming, PhD

Committee Member

Heather Bush, PhD

Committee Member

Corrine Williams, ScD, MS


Purpose. To evaluate the relationship between menstrual cycle irregularity and several key variables, and to determine whether the odds of diabetic women self-reporting menstrual cycle irregularities is greater than non-diabetic women self-reporting menstrual cycle irregularities.

Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted using data from the Kentucky Women’s Health Registry from 2006 to 2014. The data was restricted based on age (used as a proxy for menopause status) and self-reported pregnancy and breastfeeding status, as well as eligibility to menstruate, yielding a final population of 4,256 participants for analysis. Basic statistical frequency analyses were conducted, stratified by menstrual cycle status. Bivariate analyses were conducted on the data to estimate odds ratios for menstrual irregularities based on diabetes status and adjusting for confounders. A logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate the adjusted odds women with diabetes reporting menstrual cycle irregularities.

Results. The unadjusted odds of self-reported menstrual cycle irregularities were significantly greater in diabetic than non-diabetic women (OR = 2.09, p-value < 0.05). This result was no longer significant after adjusting for confounders (OR = 1.17 , p-value = 0. 39). When subtypes of diabetes were considered for unadjusted analyses , type II diabetics taking insulin only (OR = 2.74, p-value < 0.05), type II diabetics controlling by diet alone (OR = 2.52 , p-value < 0.05), and type II diabetics taking oral pills only (OR = 2.16, p-value < 0.05) yielded the largest odds of self-reporting menstrual cycle irregularities versus non-diabetic women. In the fully-adjusted model utilizing the diabetes subtypes variable, type II diabetes controlled by diet only was significant (OR = 3.36 , p-value = 0.02). The reduced adjusted model showed a strong, statistically significant increase for the dichotomous diabetes variable compared to the result from the fully-adjusted model (OR = 1. 53 , p-value = 0.006).

Conclusion. Results indicate a consistent relationship in self-reported menstrual cycle irregularities among diabetic women when compared with non-diabetic women. In the expanded diabetes variable model, type II diabetes controlled by diet only was significantly associated with menstrual cycle irregularities, though small numbers necessitate cautious interpretation. Multicollinearity, skewing, and bias could be impacting the results. Further analysis is needed to determine the relationship of diabetes and menstrual cycle irregularities in adult women.

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