Department of Public Health Sciences

Risk factors for secondary amenorrhea and galactorrhea

Gold EB, Bush T, Chee E

Int J Fertil Menopausal Stud. 1994. 39(3):177-84.

OBJECTIVE--Analyses were undertaken to identify factors that may predispose women to secondary amenorrhea or galactorrhea, frequent sources of abnormal reproductive function. METHODS--Data were gathered from interviews with 252 women with secondary amenorrhea or galactorrhea from four clinical centers, along with neighborhood controls matched to each case. Univariate comparisons were made for clinical and demographic factors of the study subjects. RESULTS-- Patients with amenorrhea and normal prolactin (PRL) levels and their matched controls tended to be younger than those with amenorrhea and elevated PRL or than menstruating patients with galactorrhea alone and their matched controls. Patients with amenorrhea and normal PRL also were significantly more educated and were older at menarche than their controls, while amenorrhea patients with elevated PRL or patients with galactorrhea alone did not differ significantly from their controls in age at menarche or educational level. More patients with galactorrhea alone had reported menstrual pain to their physicians and had significantly longer menstrual periods than their matched controls. Patients with galactorrhea alone also weighed more than their controls 2 years prior to diagnosis, a difference that remained after stratification by parity, although only statistically significant among women who had had one or two pregnancies. Finally, significantly fewer patients with amenorrhea than controls were smokers. Thus, these disorders may not be due to anti-estrogenic effect or to low estrogen levels which have been associated with smoking.

Keywords: Adolescence, Adult, Age Distribution, Amenorrhea/*epidemiology/etiology/metabolism, Analysis of Variance, Case-Control Studies, Comparative Study, Demography, Female, Galactorrhea/*epidemiology/etiology/metabolism, Human, Menstrual Cycle/physiology, Parity, Prolactin/biosynthesis, Risk Factors, Smoking, Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.



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