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Salivary progesterone levels and rate of ovulation are significantly lower in poorer than in better-off urban-dwelling Bolivian women.

Vitzthum, V. J. and Bentley, G. R. and Spielvogel, H. and Caceres, E. and Thornburg, L. and Jones, L. and Shore, S. and Hodges, K. R. and Chattrerton, R. T. (2002) 'Salivary progesterone levels and rate of ovulation are significantly lower in poorer than in better-off urban-dwelling Bolivian women.', Human reproduction., 17 (7). pp. 1906-1913.


BACKGROUND: Agriculturalists in less-developed countries (LDC) have lower progesterone levels than urban industrialized populations. However, it is unknown if urban LDC populations are also relatively lower. We tested whether urban Bolivia samples—poorer (Bol-p) and better-off (Bol-b)—have lower progesterone than a Chicago (USA) sample, and whether progesterone and rate of ovulation are lower in Bol-p than in Bol-b. METHODS: Serial salivary samples collected from Bolivians, screened according to strict exclusion criteria during two complete menstrual cycles, were radioimmunoassayed for progesterone; anthropometrics were collected at mid-follicular and mid-luteal phases. RESULTS: Progesterone levels are lower in the Bolivia samples, and higher in the Bol-b than Bol-p; ovulation rate is greater in Bol-b than Bol-p. For only ovulatory cycles, mean-follicular-P (pmol/l), mean-luteal-P (pmol/l), and mean-peak-P (pmol/l) are respectively 65, 142 and 208 in Bol-p; 76, 167 and 232 in Bol-b; and 96, 240 and 330 in Chicago. Principal components representing body-size and progesterone level are positively correlated (r = 0.404, P = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: Progesterone levels appear to be influenced by chronic and acute ecological conditions, evidenced by the association with body-size and the probability of ovulation respectively. These findings have implications for understanding cancer aetiology, developing population-appropriate hormonal contraceptives, and modelling the evolution and functioning of the reproductive system.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:
Keywords:Anthropometrics, Cancer risk, Ovulation, Reproductive ecology, Salivary progesterone.
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Record Created:08 Sep 2008
Last Modified:08 Apr 2009 16:32

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