Follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations in relation to active and passive smoking

Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Mar;85(3):407-11. doi: 10.1016/0029-7844(94)00381-M.


Objective: To determine the association between various forms of tobacco exposure and ovarian status, as measured by FSH concentrations, in women 38-49 years old.

Methods: Two hundred ninety women between 38-49 years old, who had not had hysterectomy or oophorectomy, completed a self-administered questionnaire that included information on tobacco exposure and had serum FSH levels measured on days 2-4 of the menstrual cycle. Linear regression was used to assess the relation between FSH and tobacco exposure.

Results: Controlling for age and other factors, FSH concentrations were 66% higher among current smokers (geometric mean FSH 14.0 mIU/mL) and 39% higher among nonsmokers with passive smoke exposure (11.7 mIU/mL), compared to nonsmoking women without passive smoke exposure (8.4 mIU/mL). The estimated increase in FSH for each year of age was greater for current smokers than for nonsmokers (16 versus 6%, respectively). Ex-smokers did not have higher FSH concentrations, and there was no association between prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke and FSH.

Conclusion: Both active and passive smoking are associated with elevated FSH concentrations in women 38-49 years old. The effect, limited to women with current exposure, is consistent with a shorter duration of the menopausal transition period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood*
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Smoking / blood*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution*


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone