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Circulating dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations during the menopausal transition
Women’s Health Research Faculty Publications
  • Sybil L. Crawford, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Nanette Santoro, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Gail A. Laughlin, University of California San Diego
  • Mary Fran R. Sowers, University of Michigan
  • Daniel McConnell, University of Michigan
  • Kim Sutton-Tyrrell, University of Pittsburgh
  • Gerson Weiss, New Jersey Medical School
  • Marike Vuga, University of Pittsburgh
  • John Randolph, University of Michigan Health System
  • Bill Lasley, University of California at Davis
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Document Type
Adult; African Americans; Aging; Asian Continental Ancestry Group; Cross-Sectional Studies; Dehydroepiandrosterone; Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate; Female; Hispanic Americans; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Luteinizing Hormone; Menopause; Middle Aged

CONTEXT: A previous report from the Study of Women Across the Nation indicated a rise in dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) during the menopausal transition using data from three annual visits.

OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to examine changes in DHEAS with chronological and ovarian aging, expanding the original analyses to include 10 yr of annual data.

DESIGN: A longitudinal observational study and cross-sectional analyses of baseline data were conducted.

OUTCOME MEASURES AND SUBJECTS: DHEAS, age, menopause status, ethnicity, smoking, weight, and height were assessed in 2886 women from five ethnic groups aged 42-52 yr at entry. Hysterectomy, bilateral oophorectomy, and hormone use were excluded.

RESULTS: Cross-sectional analysis at baseline showed a linear decline in circulating log-transformed DHEAS with increasing age for either the entire cohort (2.81% per year) or for individual ethnicities. A similar negative association with baseline age (2.44% decline per year) was seen in longitudinal linear mixed modeling including observations from premenopause through late postmenopause, an additional 0.33% decline/year. In contradistinction, a late-transition rise in DHEAS was detected when the same women were analyzed by ovarian status. The average increase in mean circulating DHEAS level between early and late menopause transition, beyond changes predicted by aging, was 3.95%, followed by an average decline of 3.96% during the late postmenopause. Approximately 84.5% of the women had an estimated within-woman increase in DHEAS from premenopause/early perimenopause to late perimenopause/early postmenopause.

CONCLUSION: These observations underscore differences between cross-sectional and longitudinal studies and the importance of considering ovarian status. Additional investigations regarding adrenal contribution to sex steroids in mid-aged women are warranted.

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Citation: J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Aug;94(8):2945-51. Epub 2009 May 26. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Sybil L. Crawford, Nanette Santoro, Gail A. Laughlin, Mary Fran R. Sowers, et al.. "Circulating dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations during the menopausal transition" Vol. 94 Iss. 8 (2009) ISSN: 0021-972X (Linking)
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