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Maturitas. 2002 Jan 30;41(1):69-77.

Androgens and estrogens in relation to hot flushes during the menopausal transition.

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1
Department of Behavioural Sciences in Medicine, University of Oslo, P.O. Box 1111, Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway. inger.overlie@basalmed.uio.no

Abstract

In this paper, the association of hormones to vasomotor complaints during the menopausal transition is discussed. Fifty-seven regularly menstruating women without history of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) were selected for a longitudinal, prospective study around the menopausal transition. The mean age at the start of the study was 51.3 (+/-2.0) years. At intervals of 12 months all women went through a semi-structured interview and filled in questionnaires. Venous blood samples were collected every 12-month for analyses of estradiol (E2), testosterone, androstendione, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEA-S), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), thyrotropin (TSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH). Vasomotor complaints were tested using questions about hot flushes and bouts of sweating in terms of occurrence, frequency and degree of distress. Forty-six percent of the subjects reported hot flushes and bouts of sweating before menopause, increasing to 67% during the first year after menopause and 49% in the second year postmenopause. Low levels of estradiol and high levels of FSH were associated with vasomotor complaints before menopause. During menopause high levels of TSH were related to vasomotor complaints. The first year after menopause, women, who at this point achieved hot flushes, were characterised by high levels of E2, but declining and low levels of FSH, but increasing. Postmenopausal, high levels of testosterone and DHEA-S seemed to protect against vasomotor symptoms. Our most important finding was, that among women who achieved hot flushes at the first assessment postmenopause, the high androgen levels was a significant predictor of recovery from hot flushes at the last assessment, 1 year later.

PMID:
11809345
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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