Evaluation of the Autonomic Functions in Perimenopausal and Menopausal Women 1148-1150
G.V. Latha Devi
Associate professor, Department of Physiology,
PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (PSGIMS & R),
Coimbatore â€“ 641 004, India.
Bobile: 9344851415; Office: 0422 2570170 [ext.5809]
Telefax: 0422 2594400
Background and Objectives: The autonomic nervous system controls most of the visceral functions of the body through the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nerve fibers. In women, the withdrawal of the hormones in the perimenopausal and the menopausal period is gradual. This study was aimed to assess the physiological changes in the autonomic function tests in them.
Material and Methods: 60 normal women volunteers, perimenopausal and postmenopausal, were divided into 2 groups of 30 each, Group I (perimenopausal) and Group II (postmenopausal). The parasympathetic function tests included the standing to lying ratio (S/L ratio), the 30:15 ratio and the valsalva ratio. The sympathetic function tests like the blood pressure response to the isometric handgrip (IHG) and the blood pressure response to standing (BPS) were also done. The above 5 tests were recorded in the groups I and II subjects.
Results: By the independent sample â€˜tâ€™ test, we found the mean difference of the S/L ratio, the 30:15 ratio, the valsalva ratio, the IHG test and BPS between the perimenopausal and the menopausal women, with a â€˜pâ€™ value >0.5.
Conclusion: The comparison of the autonomic functions in the perimenopausal and menopausal women showed no significant changes. The parasympathetic activity was reduced because the values which were obtained in the parasympathetic function tests were reduced to below the normal values. The sympathetic activity was increased in both the groups, indicating an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in women even before menopause.