HIV infection, drug use, and onset of natural menopause.

Schoenbaum EE, Hartel D, Lo Y, Howard AA, Floris-Moore M, Arnsten JH, Santoro N.

Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Nov 15;41(10):1517-24. doi: 10.1086/497270. Epub 2005 Oct 13.

OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship of HIV infection and drug use with the onset of natural menopause. METHODS: Our analyses used the World Health Organization's definition of menopause (i.e., the date of the last menstrual period is confirmed after 12 months of amenorrhea) and baseline data from a prospective study. Semiannual interviews were conducted. Levels of HIV antibody and CD4+ cell counts were obtained. Menopause was identified at baseline or during 12 months of follow-up. Women ingesting reproductive hormones were excluded. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess factors associated with menopause. RESULTS: Of 571 women, 53% were HIV infected, and 52% had used heroin or cocaine in the previous 5 years. The median age was 43 years (interquartile range [IQR], 40-46 years); 48.9% of the women were black, 40.4% were Hispanic, and 10.7% were white. The median body mass index was 29.1 kg/m2, and 90.4% of participants were current or former cigarette smokers. Menopause was identified in 102 women: 62 HIV-infected women (median age, 46 years; interquartile range [IQR], 39-49 years) and 40 uninfected women (median age, 47 years; IQR, 44.5-48 years). Factors independently associated with menopause included HIV infection (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.075-2.795), drug use (adjusted OR, 2.633; 95% CI, 1.610-4.308), and physical activity (adjusted OR, 0.895; 95% CI, 0.844-0.950). Among HIV-infected women, factors independently associated with menopause included CD4+ cell counts of >500 cells/mm3 (adjusted OR, 0.191; 95% CI, 0.076-0.4848) and 200-500 cells/mm3 (adjusted OR, 0.356; 95% CI, 0.147-0.813). CONCLUSION: Our study shows that HIV infection and immunosuppression are associated with an earlier age at the onset of menopause. Whether early onset of menopause in HIV-infected women increases their risk of osteoporosis and heart disease requires further study.

PMID: 16231267

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.