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Symptoms in peri- and postmenopausal women in relation to testosterone concentrations: data from The Women's Health in the Lund Area (WHILA) study

Authors
Publisher
Taylor and Francis Group
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Androgens
  • Quality Of Life
  • Testosterone
  • Climacteric
  • Perimenopause
  • Medicine And Health Sciences
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate possible associations between androgen concentrations in perimenopausal women and symptoms that may be associated with low androgen concentrations in the blood. Methods All women born in the period 1935-1945 and living in a defined geographic area in Sweden (n=10 766) were invited to a screening program that included physical and laboratory examinations and a questionnaire. Three groups were identified: premenopausal women, women on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and postmenopausal women without HRT. Concentrations of testosterone, androstendione, sex hormone binding globulin and estradiol were measured. Waist-hip ratio, body mass index and free testosterone index (FTI) were calculated. Results A total of 6908 women participated. The women on HRT had lower testosterone and FTI and were less satisfied with mood and energy (p < 0.05). Women with hot flushes had higher testosterone and FTI and women reporting coldness had lower concentrations (p < 0.05). Sexual well-being was not correlated to testosterone or FTI (p < 0.05). Conclusions Lower testosterone concentrations were associated with lower quality of life in perimenopausal women but not to sexual well-being. There must be factors other than decrements in sex hormones that contribute to the emergence of some perimenopausal symptoms.

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