Background & objectives: The effect of the hormonal changes associated with menopause on the serum lipid levels may play an important role in most cardiac related disorders associated with menopause. So the present study was undertaken with the following objectives. 1) To study the serum lipid profile in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. 2) To compare the differences of serum lipid profile between premenopausal and postmenopausal women. 3) To study the effect of duration of menopause on serum lipid profile. 4) To correlate the results of present study with that of other studies. Methods: 50 premenopausal and 50 postmenopausal women were recruited for the study. The subjects having risk factors that may affect the lipid profile were excluded. 5 ml of venous blood was collected after overnight fasting of 12 hrs in all the subjects for estimation of serum levels of total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides. Results: As compared to premenopausal women, mean level of serum total cholesterol and serum LDL were significantly higher in postmenopausal women and level significantly increased with increase in the duration of menopause. While level of serum HDL was significantly lower in postmenopausal women and level significantly decreased with increase in the duration of menopause. There was no statistically significant difference in serum triglycerides and serum VLDL between premenopausal and postmenopausal women up to 10 years duration of menopause. However they increased significantly after > 10 years duration of menopause. Interpretation & conclusion: According to the present study, menopause is associated with altered serum lipid profile and thus an independent risk factor for developing cardiovascular diseases. Therefore it is important to consider each and every postmenopausal woman to undergo screening for abnormal lipid profile. In them, specific health education strategies are needed in an order to prevent the emerging cardiovascular diseases.
Serum lipid profile, Premenopausal women, Postmenopausal women.