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The hormonal profile of pituitary hormones was studied by measuring serum FSH, LH, TSH, prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH) in a series of postmenopausal women 50–85 yr old who were at least 1 yr postmenopausal.
In 116 women mean (±SD) plasma FSH and LH were 55.8 ± 22 mU/ml and 25.6 ± 13.62. In 27 women, 1–5 yr after the menopause (M), mean FSH was 56 ± 23.8 and LH 24.7 ± 11 mU/ml and in 22 women, 6–9 yr after M, FSH was 60.3 ± 24.6 mU/ml and LH 27.9 ± 17.2 mU/ml. There was then a gradual, but not statistically significant (n.s.) fall of FSH and LH to 51.6 ± 22.6 and 23.9 ± 9 in 23 women, 20 or more years after M.
TSH was measured in 75 women and its mean value was 4.3 ± 2.4 μU/ml. Three hypothyroid values (70, 20 and 13.5 μU/ml) were also found. Mean TSH value in 20 women aged 50–54 yr (4 ± 2.7 μU/ml) was not significant compared to other age-groups or to 8 women aged 70–85 yr (4.57 ± 2.5 μU/ml).
Mean PRL in 62 cases was 0.54 ± 0.20 mU/ml. In 17 other women unexplained increased values (>1 mU/ml) of PRL were found. No significant change of PRL was found with advancing age.
Mean GH in 32 women was 3.7 ± 2.6 ng/ml. Eight other values were found <1 ng/ml and 3 above 10 ng/ml. The distribution of values in the age-group 50–59 yr (n = 22) did not differ from the age-group 60–85 yr (n = 21).
It is concluded that the basal concentration of gonadotrophins, after an initial rise, as well as that of the other pituitary hormones remains practically unaltered with advancing age in postmenopausal women.
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Accepted: December 19, 1978
Received: October 9, 1978
© 1979 Published by Elsevier Inc.