First assessment of menstrual cycle function and reproductive endocrine status in Samoan women

G. Lambert-Messerlian*, M. B. Roberts, S. S. Urlacher, J. Ah-Ching, S. Viali, M. Urbanek, S. T. McGarvey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background American Samoa and Samoa are now characterized by one of the worlds highest levels of adult overweight and obesity. Our objective was to investigate patterns of menstrual cyclicity reported by Samoan women and examine the relationship to adiposity and select hormone levels. Methodsa cross-sectional analysis was performed among Samoan women, aged 1839 years (n = 322), using anthropometric and biomarker measures of adiposity and reproductive health, including insulin, adiponectin, testosterone, sex hormone-binding globulin, free androgen index (FAI) and mullerian-inhibiting substance (MIS). Menstrual regularity was assessed from self-reported responses. Multivariable models were estimated to adjust for potential confounding of the associations between menstrual patterns and other measures. Resultsa high proportion of the women (13.7) reported oligomenorrhea or amenorrhea (OM/AM). More than three-quarters, 80.7, of women were either overweight or obese, using Polynesian-specific criteria, and OM/AM was significantly associated with higher BMI. Abdominal circumference and insulin levels were significantly higher, and adiponectin levels were lower, in those who reported OM/AM versus regular menstruation. The FAI was higher in women with increased BMI. MIS levels declined with age, more slowly in those reporting OM/AM. Conclusions Self-reported OM/AM was associated with an elevated BMI, abdominal adiposity and serum insulin, and with reduced adiponectin levels. These findings support a high rate of metabolic syndrome, and perhaps PCOS and reproductive dysfunction, among Samoan women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2518-2524
Number of pages7
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • MIS
  • Obesity
  • Samoans
  • androgen
  • polycystic ovary syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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