Lung Function Decline Linked to Menopause

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Transitional, postmenopausal women have increases in adjusted mean forced vital capacity decline
Transitional, postmenopausal women have increases in adjusted mean forced vital capacity decline

HealthDay News — Menopausal status is associated with accelerated lung function decline, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Kai Triebner, from the University of Bergen in Norway, and colleagues examined whether lung function decline is accelerated in women undergoing menopause. Serum samples, spirometry, and questionnaire data about respiratory and reproductive health were obtained from three study waves of the population-based longitudinal European Community Respiratory Health Survey (1,438 individuals). The researchers examined the correlation between menopausal status and lung function decline, adjusting for variables including age, height, weight, pack-years, current smoking, and age at completed full-time education. 

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The researchers found that there was a correlation between menopausal status and accelerated lung function decline. Compared with women menstruating regularly, transitional women and postmenopausal women had increases in the adjusted mean forced vital capacity decline of −10.2 and −12.5 ml/year, respectively. In transitional and postmenopausal women, the adjusted mean forced expiratory volume in one second decline increased by −3.8 and −5.2 ml/year, respectively.

"Lung function declined more rapidly among transitional and postmenopausal women, in particular for forced vital capacity, beyond the expected age change," the authors write. "Clinicians should be aware that respiratory health often deteriorates during reproductive aging."

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