Meyer, P.M., S.L. Zeger, Sioban D. Harlow, M. Sowers, S. Crawford, J.L. Luborsky, I. Janssen, D.S. McConnell, J.F. Randolph, and G. Weiss. 2007. "Characterizing daily urinary hormone profiles for women at midlife using functional data analysis." American Journal of Epidemiology, 165:936-945.
The availability of daily hormone values for entire menstrual cycles offers an opportunity to apply new analytic techniques that confirm current knowledge and provide new insights into patterns of changing hormone profiles in women as they transition to the menopause. The Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) collected urine samples during 1997-1999 from one menstrual cycle or up to 50 days from 848 women who live in seven cities across the United States. These samples were assayed for the urinary forms of estrogen, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone. The authors used functional data analysis to study variability in the hormone patterns of 572 of the 848 pre- and early-perimenopausal women with evidence of a luteal transition. Functional data analysis enabled the authors to identify asymmetries in women's hormone patterns related to cycle length that are not captured with single hormone value comparisons. Longer cycles were characterized by increasing dyssynchrony between follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone in the luteal phase.