Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Mehta, Sudha

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


African American women--Health and hygiene; Menopause--Hormone therapy; Oral contraceptives


In this study, 78 non-pregnant African-American women between the ages of 21- 86 years were grouped according to their use of either oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. Fasting blood was drawn from all subjects. Serum was separated and analyzed for iron, zinc, magnesium and copper by Directly Coupled Plasma Spectrospan V Spectrophotometer and serum lipids and blood glucose were analyzed by a clinical laboratory. A student’s t-test analysis demonstrated significantly higher mean levels of serum copper among women who took oral contraceptives and women who took hormone replacement therapy compared to those who did not. Other minerals were not significantly affected, although the mean serum iron levels of the hormone-treated groups, both premenopausal and postmenopausal, were higher. The mean serum zinc levels of all hormone users were lower, but the zinc levels of postmenopausal women were lower than those of the premenopausal women, although all the values were within normal ranges. The mean serum magnesium levels among all groups were similar. Favorable, although non-significant, changes were seen in serum lipids values among both oral contraceptive (OC) and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) users. A slight reduction in the mean (ApoB/ApoA) ratio was observed among both groups of hormone users. Slight reductions in mean total cholesterol and mean triglycerides were observed in the subjects using OC. A slight increase in the mean triglyceride level of HRT users was observed. Increased high density lipoprotein (HDL) and decreased low density lipoprotein (LDL) was observed among both groups of hormone users, although the results were not significant. The physiologic significance of elevated serum copper levels among hormone treated women is not known. Better indicators of the nutritional status of all of these minerals are needed to more accurately assess the needs for these minerals. Additional research is needed to examine the possible link between changes observed in serum minerals with the use of exogenous estrogen/progesterone to changes in serum lipids observed with hormone use in African-American women.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [43]-47)


82 pages




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