Factors affecting menstrual cycle characteristics

Yan Liu, Ellen B Gold, Bill L. Lasley, Wesley O. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


This 1989-1991 study in California and Utah used daily urinary metabolites of estrogen and progesterone and computer algorithms to assess ovulatory status and day of ovulation. The authors examined the associations of risk factors with menstrual cycle characteristics for 309 working women aged 20-44 years who collected a median of five cycles each of daily urine samples. Linear mixed models were used to assess continuous menstrual outcomes. Compared with women less than age 35 years, women aged 35 years or older had a significantly decreased (-0.94 days, 95% confidence interval: -1.83, -0.05) adjusted mean cycle length. Age modified the effects of smoking, physical activity, ethnicity, and alcohol consumption on mean follicular phase length. Asian women had a significantly longer (1.65 days, 95% confidence interval: 0.54, 2.76) adjusted mean cycle length compared with Caucasian women. Compared with women who did not consume alcoholic drinks, women who did had a significantly shorter (-1.26 days, 95% confidence interval: -2.21, -0.31) adjusted mean cycle length. Mean cycle and phase lengths were significantly associated with length of the prior luteal phase. These results indicate that potentially modifiable risk factors, as well as immutable host factors, are associated with menstrual cycle characteristics that may in turn be related to subsequent disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2004


  • Follicular phase
  • Hormones
  • Life style
  • Linear models, statistical
  • Luteal phase
  • Menstrual cycle
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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