To compare urinary levels of reproductive hormones in African American and Caucasian women. Cross-sectional study. Ten United States Air Force (USAF) bases. African American (n = 33) and Caucasian (n = 65) women of reproductive age from a larger study of USAF women (n = 170). None. Urinary endocrine end points: follicular luteinizing hormone (LH), preovulatory LH, level of LH surge peak, early follicular follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), follicular LH:FSH ratio, midluteal FSH, FSH rise before menses, early follicular estrone 3-glucuronide (E(1)3G), midfollicular E(1)3G, periovulatory E(1)3G peak, midluteal E(1)3G, early follicular pregnanediol 3-glucuronide (Pd3G), follicular Pd3G, rate of periovulatory Pd3G increase, E(1)3G:Pd3G on the day of luteal transition, slope of E(1)3G:Pd3G, and midluteal Pd3G. Relative to Caucasians, African American women had significantly lower follicular phase LH:FSH ratios (mean +/- SD: 0.7 +/- 0.4 vs. 1.0 +/- 0.6), lower follicular phase Pd3G levels (1.0 +/- 0.5 vs. 1.2 +/- 0.8 microg/mg creatinine), and lower rates of periovulatory Pd3G increase (0.5 +/- 0.7 vs. 1.0 +/- 1.2 microg/mg creatinine). Findings of this analysis should be considered preliminary evidence of racial differences in hormone levels. Future studies are needed to determine whether these differences have clinical significance.
Susan Reutman, 104 Park Avenue, Elsmere, KY 41018