Posted on October 7, 2011

Estrogen Levels Are Higher Across the Menstrual Cycle in African-American Women Compared with Caucasian Women

E.E. Marsh et al., Pub Med, August 17, 2011


Context: Previous studies have suggested that estrogen levels may be higher in African-American women (AAW) compared with Caucasian women (CW), but none have systematically examined estrogen secretion across the menstrual cycle or in relation to other reproductive hormones. Objective: The objective of the study was to compare estradiol (E2), progesterone (P), gonadotropins, androstenedione (a’dione), inhibins, and SHBG levels between AAW and CW across the menstrual cycle. Design, Setting, and Subjects: Daily blood samples were collected from regularly cycling AAW (n = 27) and CW (n = 27) for a full menstrual cycle, and serial ultrasounds were performed. Main Outcome Measures: Comparison of E2, P, LH, FSH, SHBG, inhibin A, inhibin B, and a’dione levels. Results: AAW and CW were of similar age (27.2 ± 0.6 yr, mean ± sem) and body mass index (22.7 ± 0.4 kg/m(2)). All subjects grew a single dominant follicle and had comparable cycle (25-35 d) and follicular phase (11-24 d) lengths. E2 levels were significantly higher in AAW compared with CW (P = 0.02) with the most pronounced differences in the late follicular phase (225.2 ± 14.4 vs. 191.5 ± 10.2 pg/ml; P = 0.02), midluteal phase (211.9 ± 22.2 vs.150.8 ± 9.9, P < 0.001), and late luteal phase (144.4 ± 13.2 vs. 103.5 ± 8.5, P = 0.01). Although LH, FSH, inhibins A and B, P, a'dione, and SHBG were not different between the two groups, the a'dione to E2 ratio was lower in AAW (P < 0.001). Conclusions: Estradiol is higher in AAW compared with CW across the menstrual cycle. Higher estradiol in the face of similar androstenedione and FSH levels suggests enhanced aromatase activity in AAW. Such differences may contribute to racial disparities in bone mineral density, breast cancer, and uterine leiomyomas.

15 responses to “Estrogen Levels Are Higher Across the Menstrual Cycle in African-American Women Compared with Caucasian Women”

  1. Hirsch says:

    Speaking of hormones and women, it may have been a low blow but Dennis Miller Show frequent guest and comedian Nick Dipaolo pointed out that it would be a good idea to leave the athletes alone and start testing Michelle Obama for performance-enhancing drugs. Her biceps rival those of Terry Crews. The last time I saw her dancing with Barack at a White House function, his feet were three inches off the ground. Even without her at his side, he looks like a metro-sexual milquetoast. Standing next to Michelle makes him look even more like a Beta.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Black females always act like they are PMS. They are hostile, rude, agitated, and readily share the agony with all those in their environment.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In all the ways basic biological functions are being shown now to differ appreciably across racial groupings–one wonders if appropriate breeds of dogs could be trained to detect specific diseases within a particular racial grouping or to detect a complex of indicators placing a particular person in one or another racial grouping.

  4. White Lily says:

    I’m unclear about this study. Is it testing all women, or just American women? The references to AAW (African-American women) suggests only Americans are being tested. So why are European-American women referred to as CW (Caucasian women)?

    Wouldn’t the study be more conclusive if it included women from all over the globe? Or does the term “African-American women” now represent black women everywhere, the way the term “Caucasian women” seems to suggest all whites?

    Political correctness is making diversity even more confusing than necessary. I suspect a fiendish plot…

  5. Anon says:

    If estrogen levels are climbing unusually high in black women, it’s because Nature is trying to get something that normally has a lot of testosterone successfully mated.

  6. skarphedin says:

    That’s interesting, because [it is my understanding that] the pre-ovulatory spike in estradol is related to sexual receptivity – and from the study: “…in the preovulatory period, E2 levels were significantly higher in AAW.”

  7. Anonymous says:

    Just which African Americans did they include? They didn’t seem to control for degree of blackness. Folks used to go into great detail about that kind of thing – mulatto, quadroon,… , octoroon, …, hexadecaroon, …, icosaroon and so on. Using some function of albedo (dry skin of course) to quantify “blackness” might help bring such studies into the world of 21st century science.

    Typical old white guy

  8. nokangaroos says:

    #4 White Lily …

    from the way the study was framed, they were using volunteer students from a medical school (look at the ages and BMIs). It would be terribly difficult to do a pilot of this kind “in the wild”.

    No fiendish plot.

  9. Detroit WASP says:

    Hearing Helmouth Nyborg speak brought joy to my heart. His comments about the Nazi references concerning IQ were my thoughts exactly. Maybe I ain’t as dumb as I thought.

    Helmouth Nyborg – “The flood of 3rd world immigration to Europe to Europe will destroy democracy.”

    “it’s difficult to have a democracy in a country with an IQ below 90.”

  10. White Lily says:

    To #8–nokangaroos:

    Aah, but don’t you recognize the fiendish plot in the selection of the inconsistent terminology?

    If the black women are “African-American,” why aren’t the white women “European-American?”

    If the white women are “Caucasian,” why aren’t the black women “Negro?”

    This is what I mean by diversity being even further complicated by political correctness: such subtle discrepancies in language are subliminally permeating our society and are being introduced for a purpose–in this case, a “plot” to artificially elevate blacks.

    And #7–Anonymous (Typical old white guy) has a good point: just how black are the AAW, and to what extent does this affect the results? As for my white self; right now I’m feeling a little crabby.

  11. Rhialto says:

    Perhaps the use of African-American instead of black (or negroid) was a sop to the liberals. The article shows (one more) important difference among the races. This will aggravate the liberals. So the conductors of the test used politically correct language to minimize this liberal perturbation, and protect their careers.

  12. John Engelman says:

    As scientific evidence mounts that racial differences are more than cosmetic, and that we are not the same under the skin, there will be more vigorous efforts to suppress this evidence, or at least conclusions that can be logically derived from it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Yes yes, we know blacks are genetically very distinct from white people. The real issue that should be hitting home with some of you here, but doesn’t seem to be….they’re interbreeding us all away…and, the culprits are for the most part WHITE WOMEN. Now, what are you going to do about it???

  14. White Lily says:

    To #11 (Rhialto):

    Thanks for clarifying this. I’m sure you’re right.

    My point is simply that misguided PC delusions compound themselves until they take on a life of their own and replace reality. We need to recognize the language of deception, and challenge it wherever it occurs.

    In the meantime, Amen! to such revealing racial studies, despite the apparent need for professionals to guard their language for now.

    To #12–John Engelman:

    Yes, the evidence is mounting! Study after meticulous study.

    Oops, I’m starting to cramp…

  15. Jason says:

    I have read before that black women have the highest levels of male (testosterone) AND female (estrogen) hormones than any other race. I guess this is why black women have the largest breast and buttocks than any other race of women.

    I suspect that both Asian men and women have the lowest levels of male and female hormones, this is why Asian women have the smallest breast and buttocks of any other race.

    African men and women probably have the highest levels of male and female hormones.

    White men and women are probably somewhere in between the other two.