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Lipid profile differences during menopause

a review with meta-analysis

Ambikairajah, Ananthan BSc, MTeach, PhDc; Walsh, Erin PhD; Cherbuin, Nicolas PhD

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001403
Review Articles

Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine lipid profile differences between premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Methods: The present review used a meta-analytic approach. Sixty-six studies were included, which provided a total sample of 114,655 women consisting of 68,394 that were premenopausal and 46,261 that were postmenopausal.

Results: The main findings were that (1) lipoproteins were significantly higher in postmenopausal women compared to premenopausal women including triglycerides (0.27 mmol/L, 95% confidence interval, 0.22-0.31), total cholesterol (0.58, 0.50-0.65), low-density lipoprotein (0.45, 0.38-0.53), and total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein levels (0.39, 0.16-0.62); (2) there was no difference in high-density lipoprotein levels between premenopausal and postmenopausal women (0.02, −0.00-0.04); and (3) the differences in lipid levels was partly attributable to the mean age difference between premenopausal and postmenopausal women.

Conclusions: These findings are important as they provide precise estimates of lipid differences in women around menopause. Furthermore the results suggest that the unfavorable lipid profile that develops in postmenopausal women puts them at higher risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke if appropriate lifestyle/pharmacological interventions are not implemented.

Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, Research School of Population Health, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia.

Address correspondence to: Ananthan Ambikairajah, BSc, MTeach, PhDc, Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing, Research School of Population Health, Australian National University, Florey, Building 54, Mills Rd, Canberra, ACT, 2601, Australia. E-mail:;

Received 4 May, 2019

Revised 24 June, 2019

Accepted 24 June, 2019

Funding/support: None reported.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: A.A. was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (AGRTP) Domestic and Fee-Offset Scholarships. The rest of the authors have nothing to disclose.

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Online date: September 16, 2019

© 2019 by The North American Menopause Society.