Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 85–92 | Cite as

The menopause transition and the aging process: A population perspective

  • M. F. R. Sowers


The menopause transition period, extending from active reproductive capacity with well-characterized hormone profiles through reproductive senescence, has been less well studied than any other period of the life span except extreme old age. Yet, for the gerontologist, this is an important period to understand for at least two reasons. First, during this period changes in the neuroendocrine system and ovary may provide a model for the study of other aging-related processes. Second, specific characteristics of this transitional period (including duration, intensity, and age at menopause) may be considered “aging”, and influence short-term health and quality-of-life status, as well as life expectancy. In addition to discussing the menopause transition in terms of age and culture, we include some of the theories and conceptual models that can influence the nature and interpretation of information from this time period, and its ultimate impact on health and health practice.

Key words

Aging hormones life expectancy menopause 


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© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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