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Maturitas. 1999 Dec 15;33(3):239-47.

Effects of postmenopausal hypoestrogenism on skin collagen.

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  • 1Clinical Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Pathophysiology of Human Reproduction, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.



The aim of our study was to evaluate the effect of aging and postmenopausal hypoestrogenism on skin collagen content.


Thirty-two women (mean age 48.78 +/- 9.86; year +/- S.D., range 28-68), 14 in premenopause and 18 in postmenopause, underwent skin biopsies performed during laparotomic operation. The amount of collagen type I, III and type III/type I ratio was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and computerised image analysis, and was related to age and years of postmenopause.


In the postmenopausal patients, a significant (P < 0.01) decrease of percentage of skin collagen type I, type III and type III/type I ratio was observed in comparison to premenopausal women. The percentages of collagen type I, type III and type III/I ratio of all patients studied was significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with chronological age (r = 0.88, 0.89 and 0.61, respectively). Considering only postmenopausal subjects, the correlation with chronological age was significant (P < 0.01) for collagen type I and type III of postmenopausal women (r = 0.59, r = 0.64, respectively), but not for the type III/I ratio (r = 0.37, P = 0.131). The percentages of collagen type I, type III and type III/I ratio of postmenopausal women showed a significant (P < 0.01) inverse correlation with years of postmenopause (r = 0.76, 0.73 and 0.73, respectively).


Our data suggest that the decrease of skin collagen is an estrogen-related phenomenon.

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