Relationship between leukoaraiosis and menopause in healthy middle-aged women

Menopause was independently associated with the presence of leukoaraiosis after adjusting for age and vascular risk factors.


Seok Kyo Seo, M.D., Inkyung Jung, Ph.D., Sang Min Lee, M.D., SiHyun Cho, M.D., Young Sik Choi, M.D., Tae Sub Chung, M.D., Ph.D., Byung Seok Lee, M.D., Ph.D.

Volume 100, Issue 2, Pages 500-504, August 2013



To investigate the relationship between leukoaraiosis (LA) and menopause in healthy middle-aged women.


A retrospective cohort study.


Health promotion center of a university hospital.


We studied 262 healthy pre- and postmenopausal women ages 41–60 years who visited the health promotion center for a routine health checkup.



Main Outcome Measure(s):

LA is defined as diffuse white matter abnormalities on computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). LA was assessed by examining MRIs and using the rating scale of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. Logistic regression analysis was performed to examine associations between LA and menopause.


Women with LA had a significantly higher age than women without LA. Elevated blood pressure (≥130/85 mm Hg) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (<50 mg/dL) were frequent abnormal findings in women with LA. The proportion of menopause was significantly higher in women with LA than in those without LA. Menopause was independently associated with the presence of LA (adjusted odds ratio, 2.24; 95% confidence interval, 1.10, 4.60) after adjusting for confounding variables. Conclusion(s):

Menopause was significantly associated with LA. Loss of estrogen may play an important role in the development of LA.

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