Objective: Disturbance of autonomic nervous activity has been thought to play a role in the climacteric symptoms of postmenopausal women. This study was therefore designed to investigate the relationship between autonomic nervous activity and climacteric symptoms in postmenopausal Japanese women.
Methods: The autonomic nervous activity of 40 Japanese women with climacteric symptoms and 40 Japanese women without climacteric symptoms was measured by power spectral analysis of heart rate variability using a standard hexagonal radar chart. The scores for climacteric symptoms were determined using the simplified menopausal index.
Results: Sympathetic excitability and irritability, as well as the standard deviation of mean R-R intervals in supine position, were significantly (P < 0.01, 0.05, and 0.001, respectively) decreased in women with climacteric symptoms. There was a negative correlation between the standard deviation of mean R-R intervals in supine position and the simplified menopausal index score. The lack of control for potential confounding variables was a limitation of this study.
Conclusions: In climacteric women, the standard deviation of mean R-R intervals in supine position is negatively correlated with the simplified menopausal index score.