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Prevalence of hyperprolactinaemia in female premenopausal blood donors

Authors

  • Macarena Alpañés,

    1. Diabetes, Obesity and Human Reproduction Research Group, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal & Universidad de Alcalá & Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain
    2. Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas CIBERDEM, Madrid, Spain
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  • Raúl Sanchón,

    1. Diabetes, Obesity and Human Reproduction Research Group, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal & Universidad de Alcalá & Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Infanta Cristina, Madrid, Spain
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  • Mª Ángeles Martínez-García,

    1. Diabetes, Obesity and Human Reproduction Research Group, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal & Universidad de Alcalá & Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain
    2. Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas CIBERDEM, Madrid, Spain
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  • Elena Martínez-Bermejo,

    1. Diabetes, Obesity and Human Reproduction Research Group, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal & Universidad de Alcalá & Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain
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  • Héctor F. Escobar-Morreale

    Corresponding author
    1. Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red Diabetes y Enfermedades Metabólicas Asociadas CIBERDEM, Madrid, Spain
    • Diabetes, Obesity and Human Reproduction Research Group, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal & Universidad de Alcalá & Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria IRYCIS, Madrid, Spain
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  • Present address: Raúl Sanchon, Department of Endocrinology, Hospital Infanta Cristina, Madrid, Spain

Correspondence: Héctor F. Escobar-Morreale, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal & Universidad de Alcalá, Carretera de Colmenar km 9.1, E-28034 Madrid, Spain. Tel.: +34 91 336 9029; E-mail: hectorfrancisco.escobar@salud.madrid.org

Summary

Objective

The prevalence of asymptomatic hyperprolactinaemia has been widely studied in certain populations such as antipsychotic drugs users, infertile women or patients with primary hypothyroidism, but data on the prevalence of hyperprolactinaemia and macroprolactinaemia in the healthy population are very scarce in the literature. We aimed to obtain an unbiased estimation of the prevalence in premenopausal women of: (i) hyperprolactinaemia and (ii) its aetiology, including macroprolactinaemia and stress-related hyperprolactinaemia, while considering simultaneously the use of hormonal contraceptives.

Design

Prevalence survey.

Subjects

Three-hundred and ninety-three consecutive premenopausal women reporting spontaneously for blood donation.

Measurements

We performed an exhaustive clinical history and physical examination, establishing the presence of hirsutism, acne, alopecia, menstrual dysfunction and reproductive history. We also measured serum prolactin (PRL) (ruling out macroprolactinaemia when indicated), thyrotrophin, total testosterone, androstendione, sex hormone binding globulin and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate concentrations.

Results

Serum PRL concentrations were increased in 16 of 393 women (4·1% prevalence, 95% CI: 2·1–6·0). The prevalence of macroprolactinaemia was 0·6% (95% CI: 0–1) in the total female blood donor population and was 12·5% (95% CI: 6–31) among hyperprolactinaemic patients. The remaining hyperprolactinaemic women had stress-related hyperprolactinaemia as the more likely aetiology. Finally, the frequency of hyperprolactinaemia was similar in users and nonusers of hormonal contraceptives (4·5% and 3·9% respectively, = 0·209).

Conclusions

The prevalence of hyperprolactinaemia in healthy female blood donors is low and is not influenced by the use of hormonal contraceptives. Pathological causes are very rare with stress-related hyperprolactinaemia and macroprolactinaemia being the most frequent causes of hyperprolactinaemia in these women.

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