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Epidemiology. 2016 Sep;27(5):716-25. doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000508.

Soy-based Infant Formula Feeding and Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Among Young African American Women.

Author information

1
From the aEpidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC; bDepartments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and cBiostatistics & Computational Biology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, NC.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Phytoestrogen exposure from soy formula feeding during infancy may disrupt reproductive system development, resulting in altered menstrual bleeding in adulthood.

METHODS:

We investigated this relationship in a cohort of 1,696 young African American women using enrollment data from the Study of Environment, Lifestyle, & Fibroids (2010-2012). Questionnaire data on soy formula feeding were available for 1,553 participants, 89% based on mother's report. Menstrual bleeding outcomes including those indicative of heavy menstrual bleeding were ascertained by interview. We estimated relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for associations between soy formula feeding and menstrual bleeding outcomes using log-binomial regression and log-multinomial regression, comparing participants ever fed and never fed soy formula.

RESULTS:

We observed associations between soy formula feeding and variables indicating a history of heavy menstrual bleeding, including ever experiencing heavy, gushing-type bleeding (RR: 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0, 1.4), ever use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for heavy bleeding (RR: 1.3, 95% CI: 1.0, 1.6), and ever use of a contraceptive method for heavy bleeding (RR: 1.2, 95% CI, 0.9, 1.6). Among the subset of participants with menses in the past year who did not use medication that may alter menstrual flow (n = 762), our data suggested that soy formula feeding was associated with heavier flow and the adverse impact of menstrual bleeding on quality of life, but CIs were wide.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data suggested that soy formula feeding is associated with heavy menstrual bleeding. Our results support the idea that infancy is a susceptible developmental window for female reproductive function.

PMID:
27196806
PMCID:
PMC5425950
DOI:
10.1097/EDE.0000000000000508
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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