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Menopausal Syndrome: Effect on Serum Lipid and Lipoprotein Profiles

Plasma lipids have been known to be altered by the within-month variations in the female hormonal system. The female hormonal system also controls the menstrual cycle in the pre-menopausal women. This study is, therefore, aimed at finding the possible effects of menopause on plasma lipids and lipoproteins, as shown by the lipid profile. The lipid profiles of 200 post-menopausal women and 100 pre-menopausal control women were estimated. The results obtained show a statistically significant increase (P less than 0.05) in the total cholesterol level of early menopausal subjects (6.05 plus/minus 1.03mmol/L) and slightly higher values in late menopausal subjects (6.80 plus/minus 0.81mmol/L), when compared with the control subjects (4.6 plus/minus 0.62mmol/L). Triglycerides (TG) showed slight but significant increase (P less than 0.05) in the early menopausal subjects (1.40 plus/minus 0.80 mmol/L) and higher levels in late menopausal subjects(1.96 plus/minus 0.45 mmol/L) in comparison with the control subjects (1.02 plus/minus 0.44 mmol/L). High density lipoprotein (HDL) levels were however reduced significantly (P less than 0.05) in early menopausal subjects (1.20 plus/minus 0.27 mmol/L) and even lower in late menopausal subjects (1.17 plus/minus 0.28 mmol/L) when compared to the controls; while Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) levels were significantly increased (P less than 0.05) in early menopausal subjects (4.21 plus/minus 0.81 and 0.63 plus/minus 0.37 mmol/L), and higher in late menopausal subjects (4.70 plus/minus 0.55 and 0.81 plus/minus 0.41 mmol/L) when compared with the control subjects. The findings suggest the probability that menopausal syndrome can lead to hyperlipidaemia, dyslipidaemia and possibly predispose women to coronary artery disease.

Author(s): Ebele J. Ikekpeazu, Emeka E. Neboh, Ignatius C. Maduka, Fidelis E. Ejezie, Silas Ufelle