To study the serum concentrations of
the sex steroid hormones and free divalent cations Mg2+ and Ca2+ in healthy women at or
past menopause and to compare them with the serum concentrations of healthy, cycling women
of child-bearing age at different stages of the menstrual cycle.
Controlled clinical study.
An academic medical center.
Women of varying age and duration of
menopause, and healthy, cycling women.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):
Serum levels of the sex steroids
(estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone) and of Ca2+ and Mg2+ were measured in menopausal
and postmenopausal women, and in healthy, cycling women at five different stages of the
The Mg2+ and total Mg levels of the
postmenopausal women were inversely related to the serum level of estrogen and were similar
to the levels present during the early follicular phase of healthy women of child-bearing
age. The Ca2+ level was unrelated to the sex steroid hormones present, but it was increased
compared with that of younger women in both the follicular phase and the luteal phase.
Serum levels of Mg2+ and total Mg were
inversely correlated with the estrogen concentration in menopausal women. Serum levels of
Ca2+ were significantly elevated in menopausal women compared with younger women, but the
ratio of Ca2+ to Mg2+, a measure of cardiovascular problems, was not elevated in the