The effects of illicit drug use and HIV infection on sex hormone levels in women
Drug use and HIV infection may affect sex hormone levels in women. One hundred and ninety-six women with and without a history of illicit drug use (50 HIV-negative and 148 HIV-infected), with regular menses, who never used antiretrovirals, were evaluated. Luteinizing hormone levels were significantly higher in women with a CD4 cell count <200/microl (p < 0.002). Current methadone use was associated with lower levels of total testosterone (p = 0.03) and higher levels of prolactin (p = 0.002); mean estradiol levels were 43% lower in women who used intravenous drugs (p < 0.001). Alcohol and crack cocaine use was not associated with sex hormone levels. Age, race, body mass index and degree of HIV immunosuppression were also associated with differences in sex hormone levels.
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