Total Estradiol Levels in Migrant and British-Born British Pakistani Women: Investigating Early Life Influences on Ovarian Function

Medical Anthropology Research Group, Department of Anthropology, Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom.
American Journal of Human Biology (Impact Factor: 1.7). 05/2009; 21(3):301-4. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.20859
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that women who grow up in energetically stressed environments have later menarche and lower total estradiol levels during their reproductive years than do women who grow up in less energetically stressed environments. We assessed total estradiol in a serum sample taken 9-11 days after the start of the menstrual cycle in 26 women who grew up in Pakistan and migrated to the UK as adults, in 28 British-born British Pakistani women, and in 25 British-born women of European origin. Women who grew up in Pakistan reported a later menarche than women who grew up in the UK. However, we found no significant differences between the groups in total estradiol level. Thus our findings do not support the hypothesis that estradiol levels are partially determined during early life. However, having considered our findings in relation to those of other studies, we conclude that new methodological approaches are needed to provide a more definitive test of the hypothesis.

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