Korean J Obstet Gynecol.  2012 Apr;55(4):250-256. 10.5468/KJOG.2012.55.4.250.

The change of blood lead levels in menopausal women and its association with relevant factors

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soonchunhyang Cheonan Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. jgsunwoo@schmc.ac.kr
  • 2Institute of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Soonchunhyang University, Asan, Korea.


This study assessed blood lead in women in relation to menopause and its association with other related relevant factors to evaluate the impact of menopausal status on blood lead levels in women.
Eighty three menopausal women and 52 premenopausal women without known occupational lead exposure were included. Blood lead was measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and Lutenizing hormone (LH) were measured in addition to hemoglobin, hematocrit and body mass index as an study variables. Information on smoking and drinking status were also obtained.
The mean (95% confidence intervals) level of blood lead in menopausal women was 2.27 microg/dL (2.12-2.41 microg/dL) which was significantly higher than premenopausal women (1.89 microg/dL, 1.76-2.02 microg/dL), but there was no statistical difference of mean blood levels between perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. In a multivariate regression analysis after adjusting for age, body mass index hemoglobin, drinking and smoking status, only menopausal status was a significant predictor of increases in log transformed blood lead without any significant contribution of FSH and LH.
These results confirmed that menopausal status was associated with significant increase of blood lead levels in Korean women who were not occupationally exposed to lead.


Blood lead; Premenopause; Perimenopause; Postmenopause; Follicle-stimulating hormone; Lutenizing hormone
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