Research Article| Volume 49, ISSUE 2, P163-169, October 15, 2004

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The relationship of estrogen receptor-α polymorphism with symptoms and other characteristics in post-menopausal women


      Objectives: To study the influence of the estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) genotypes (PvuII and XbaI polymorphisms) on symptoms and bone density. Methods: We recruited 177 post-menopausal women to register hot flashes, vaginal dryness, depression, anxiety, sleep alterations, and serum hormones (FSH, LH, estrone, and estradiol). Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured with a radiographic method, correcting with an external reference. ER-α genotyping was carried out by PCR. Results: Scores for vaginal dryness were lower for the xx (P=0.003), and pp genotypes (P=0.006). Hot flashes were lower for the Pp (P=0.006) genotype. FSH circulating levels were lower for Xx genotype (P=0.036). The factors associated with BMD were estrone (P<0.000001), estradiol (P=0.0035) and XbaI (P=0.035). Vaginal dryness, was associated with PvuII and XbaI polymorphisms (P=0.037 and P=0.039). Depression was associated with log(estrone) (P=0.011), schooling (negatively, P=0.012), and marginally with BMI (P=0.066). Sleep alterations correlated with log(estrone) (P=0.014) and marginally with years since menopause (P=0.046). Anxiety correlated with schooling (negatively, P=0.006) and age (P=0.015), and hot flashes with schooling (negatively, P=0.014). BMD was associated with log(estrone) (P<0.000001), estradiol (negatively, P=0.0036), and marginally with XbaI (P=0.036). Conclusions: In post-menopausal women, the ER-α polymorphism was associated with vaginal dryness, and hot flashes but not with other physical or emotional symptoms. Extraglandular estrogen production, and diverse molecular factors related to estrogen action may play an important role in this process.


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