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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Jun;168(6 Pt 1):1839-43; discussion 1843-5.

Menopause without symptoms: the endocrinology of menopause among rural Mayan Indians.

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1
UCSF, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences 94143-1032.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Our purpose was to determine the characteristics of menopause among Mayan women who did not have menopausal symptoms.

STUDY DESIGN:

A cross-sectional study of Mayan women from Chichimila, Mexico, was performed. Demographic information, history and physical examination, hormone concentrations, and radial bone density measurement were obtained.

RESULTS:

Fifty-two postmenopausal women were compared with 26 premenopausal women. Menopause occurred at 44.3 +/- 4.4 years. None of the women admitted to hot flushes and did not recall significant menopausal symptoms. Hormone levels included elevated follicle-stimulating hormone (66.6 +/- 29 mlU/ml), low estradiol and estrone (9.4 +/- 8.3 and 13.3 +/- 7.8 pg/ml), estrone greater than estradiol levels, normal levels of testosterone and androstenedione (0.17 +/- 0.14 and 0.31 +/- 0.17 ng/ml). Bone mineral density declined with age, but height did not. Clinical evidence of osteoporosis was not detected.

CONCLUSIONS:

Lack of symptoms during the menopausal transition is not attributable to a difference in endocrinology. Postmenopausal Mayan women are estrogen deprived and experience age-related bone demineralization but do not have a high incidence of osteoporotic fractures.

PMID:
8317530
DOI:
10.1016/0002-9378(93)90699-j
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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