Context/objective: The objective of the study was to determine whether anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and inhibin B are viable endocrine biomarkers for framing the menopause transition from initiation to the final menstrual period (FMP).
Design: We assayed AMH, inhibin B, and FSH in 300 archival follicular phase specimens from 50 women with six consecutive annual visits commencing in 1993 when all women were in the pre- and perimenopausal menopause stages. Subsequently each woman had a documented FMP. The assay results were fitted as individual-woman profiles and then related to time to FMP and age at FMP as outcomes.
Results: Based on annual values from six time points prior to the FMP, (log)AMH longitudinal profiles declined and were highly associated with a time point 5 yr prior to FMP [including both observed and values below detection (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0001, respectively)]. Baseline AMH profiles were also associated with age at FMP (P = 0.035). Models of declining (log)inhibin B profiles (including both observed and values below detection) were associated with time to FMP (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0003, respectively). There was no significant association of (log)inhibin B profiles with age at FMP.
Conclusions: AMH, an endocrine marker that reflects the transition of resting primordial follicles to growing follicles, declined to a time point 5 yr prior to the FMP; this may represent a critical biological juncture in the menopause transition. Low and nondetectable levels inhibin B levels also were observed 4-5 yr prior to the FMP but were less predictive of time to FMP or age at FMP.