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.
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.
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.
In climacteric women, the standard deviation of mean R-R intervals in supine position is negatively correlated with the simplified menopausal index score.