Navigation Links
Cholesterol Levels Fluctuate With Menstrual Cycle

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Aug. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women's cholesterol levels vary throughout their menstrual cycle as their levels of estrogen rise and fall, a new study reveals.

This means that to get a clear picture of a woman's cholesterol levels, doctors may need to take readings over several months before deciding whether the patient needs to have her levels lowered, the researchers noted.

"Doctors who are looking at women [for] high cholesterol have to take into account the phase of the menstrual cycle they are at when they take the measurement," said study co-author Enrique F. Schisterman, chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

To make cholesterol readings more consistent and reliable, measurements should be taken at the same time each month for a couple of cycles, Schisterman added.

"Practically, it's easier to recognize the beginning of a cycle," he said. "So if you do it consistently at the beginning of the cycle then you will get consistent measures over time."

The report is published in the current online edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

For the study, Schisterman's group compared levels of estrogen with cholesterol and triglyceride levels in 259 healthy women, aged 18 to 44. Most of the women (94 percent), had 14 or more measurements taken over two menstrual cycles. The women also charted the phases of their cycles using at-home fertility monitors that detect hormone levels indicating ovulation.

Most of the women were physically active and did not smoke. Only 5 percent had cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL, which is borderline high-risk for heart disease. But, cholesterol levels among 19.7 percent of the women reached 200 mg/dL at least once.

In addition, some obese women over 40 had greater fluctuation in cholesterol levels than did the rest of the group, the researchers noted.

The researchers found that as estrogen levels rise, HDL, or "good" cholesterol also rises, peaking at ovulation.

At the same time, as estrogen levels increased, total and LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, as well as levels of triglycerides, fell, Schisterman's team found. This decline began a couple of days after estrogen levels peaked at ovulation.

In addition, levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides were lowest just before the start of menstruation, the researchers noted.

"This is more recognition that hormones play a very important role in women's lives on all levels, including basic tests, like the test for cholesterol," Schisterman said. "The menstrual cycle plays a very important role in women's overall health."

Dr. Jennifer Glueck, an assistant professor of clinical medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that "I really wasn't aware that the levels of the lipids could fluctuate like that over the course of the menstrual cycle."

However, the finding may not be particularly clinically relevant to this group of young women, Glueck said.

"These are young healthy women that you wouldn't be considering to start cholesterol-lowering medications on," she said. "It doesn't seem like it pushed them into categories where you would initiate treatment."

So while the finding is interesting, it probably won't change clinical practice, she noted.

More information

For more information on cholesterol, visit the American Heart Association.

SOURCES: Enrique F. Schisterman, Ph.D., chief, Epidemiology Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Jennifer Glueck, an assistant professor, clinical medicine, division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Aug. 10, 2010, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, online

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Genome Studies Point to Cholesterol-Regulating Genes
2. High Cholesterol in Youth Boosts Heart Risk In Middle Age
3. No firm conclusions about HDL cholesterol can be drawn from JUPITER sub-analysis
4. Some on Statins May Not Need Boost in Good Cholesterol
5. New links between cholesterol and depression in the elderly
6. Screening Guidelines Miss Many Kids With High Cholesterol
7. Good HDL Cholesterol Now Tied to Lower Cancer Risk
8. U of M study: Monitoring cholesterol increases life expectancy
9. Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
10. Children may be able to eat before cholesterol test, study shows
11. Watch Your Cholesterol, Your Blood Pressure ... and This Enzyme?
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Cholesterol Levels Fluctuate With Menstrual Cycle
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 01, 2015 , ... The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) ... the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in estate ... boasting more than 850,000 members and over 200 operating Local Chapters. , “I’m pleased ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 30, 2015 , ... 1Heart Caregiver Services’ Executive Team actively ... Philippine American Chambers of Commerce held from November 6-8, 2015 at the Monte ... as an active delegate from the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Being a caregiver for someone ... Maryland Health Care System, the Caregiver Support Program promotes the health and wellbeing ... job. Seventy-four percent report that their role as a caregiver has created marital ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... During the National Family Caregivers ... held two webinars on topics of ‘Medical and Palliative Care Decisions,’ and ‘Self-Care ... . , With a loved one's diagnosis of mesothelioma, the closest family ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... According to research by the ... dental technicians to be certified or obtain continuing education. To increase awareness of ... Your Mouth?” campaign to inform dentists that the technicians they trust could lack ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015 ... adds a 2015 publication on ... 2015 with comprehensive analysis of recent ... deal types, such as Mergers & ... . --> ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... 30, 2015  The fee-for-service reimbursement model ... medical imaging is on its way to ... payer-provider contracts are set to phase out ... alter provider-vendor relationships. The shift to value-based, ... new purchasing frameworks in the medical imaging ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. and ST. ... Cross and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX ) today ... benefit agreement. The partnership, which began in 1999, will ... --> --> After evaluating pharmacy ... process, Premera concluded that Express Scripts continues to offer ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: