Anti-Mullerian hormone level accurately predicts onset of menopause

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Women may or may not be happy to know that age and anti-Mullerian hormone level can accurately predict to within a relatively small range of years when menopause will ensure, according to findings of a new study.

Women may or may not be happy to know that age and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) level can accurately predict to within a relatively small range of years when menopause will ensue, according to the findings of a long-term follow-up study from the Netherlands.

Researchers from an academic hospital included in their study 257 women between the ages of 21 and 46 years with normal ovulatory cycles. They measured AMH, atrial follicle count, and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) at the beginning of the study (T1) and again approximately 11 years later (T2). They also kept track of cycle status (ie, strictly regular, in menopausal transition, or postmenopausal) and age at menopause.

The researchers found that about 1 in 5 (19%) of the women had reached menopause by T2. After adjusting for age, only blood levels of AMH added any predictive value as to when menopause would occur. In fact, the researchers found that the normal distribution of age at menopause shifts considerably, depending on a woman's individual age-specific AMH blood level.

Although the test cannot pinpoint the precise years during which menopause will occur, it provides a smaller range of years than what is currently available.

Broer SL, Eijkemans MJC, Scheffer GJ, et al. Anti-Mülllerian hormone predicts menopause: a long-term follow-up study in normoovulatory women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. May 25, 2011. Epub ahead of print.

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