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Early Hum Dev. 1997 Sep 19;49(2):143-8.

Is the age of menopause determined in-utero?

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1
University Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether age at menopause is related to size at birth.

DESIGN:

A follow-up study of two groups of women whose size at birth was recorded.

SETTING:

Hertfordshire and Sheffield, England.

POPULATION:

755 women aged 60-71 years born in Hertfordshire; 235 women aged 40-42 years born in the Jessop Hospital, Sheffield.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Age at natural menopause or serum follicle stimulating hormone concentration greater than 25 IU/ml.

RESULTS:

Age at menopause was unrelated to birth weight. However, it occurred at a younger age in women who had low weight at 1 year. This was independent of their body weight and smoking habits. In the population of younger women those who had had an early menopause tended to have been short at birth, with a high ponderal index (birth weight/length3).

CONCLUSION:

Growth retardation in late gestation, leading to shortness at birth and low weight gain in infancy, may be associated with a reduced number of primordial follicles in the ovary leading in turn to an earlier menopause.

PMID:
9226121
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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