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Athletic amenorrhea and endothelial dysfunction. WMJ 2007 Sep;106(6):301-6



Pubmed ID



OBJECTIVES: To determine if menstrual status changed in amenorrheic college runners over a 2-year period and what effect this had on brachial artery flow-mediated dilation.

PARTICIPANTS: Eighteen athletes first studied in our laboratory 2 years prior were available for follow-up. Nine of the 10 original women with athletic amenorrhea (mean +/- SE, age 21.3 +/- 1.2 yrs), and 9 of the 11 eumenorrheics/controls (age 20.1 +/- 0.5 yrs) were studied 2 years after baseline measurements.

METHODS: Questionnaires/personal interviews and blood draws were performed to determine menstrual status. A non-invasive ultrasound technique was used to determine brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (endothelium-dependent).

RESULTS: Menstrual status changed in 7 of 9 original amenorrheic subjects (2 were taking hormone replacement, 2 were taking oral contraceptives, 3 had a natural menstrual period prior to testing, and 2 remained amenorrheic). Endothelium-dependent brachial artery dilation, measured as the percent change in maximal brachial artery diameter from baseline during reactive hyperemia, was improved in the original amenorrheic subjects (a 1.1% +/- 1.0 increase in the original study versus 5.6% + 1.1 increase in the current study, P=0.01) while in the eumenorrheic/control group there was no change (6.3% +/- 1.7 versus 8.0% +/- 1.3, P=0.42).

CONCLUSIONS: Menstrual status changed in 7 of the 9 original amenorrheic athletes, and this change was associated with an improvement in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation.

Author List

Hoch AZ, Jurva JW, Staton MA, Thielke R, Hoffmann RG, Pajewski N, Gutterman DD


David D. Gutterman MD Sr Associate Director, Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Anne Hoch DO Professor in the Orthopaedic Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Body Mass Index
Brachial Artery
Cardiovascular Diseases
Dilatation, Pathologic
Endothelium, Vascular
Feeding Behavior
Follow-Up Studies
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Interviews as Topic
Regional Blood Flow
Risk Factors
Surveys and Questionnaires
Women's Health