Menopause in German and Chinese women—An analysis of symptoms, TCM-diagnosis and hormone status
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- Rampp, T., Tan, L., Zhang, L. et al. Chin. J. Integr. Med. (2008) 14: 194. doi:10.1007/s11655-008-0194-1
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To investigate menopause-related symptoms, traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)-diagnosis and hormone status of two comparable urban samples of menopausal women, one in Essen (Germany) and the other in Shanghai (China).
Patients suffering from menopause-syndrome were recruited from the TCM-outpatient clinic of the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany (35 subjects) and from the Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China (35 subjects). The Kupperman-Index for tracing menopausal symptoms was applied. The complete TCM-diagnosis was carried out by the same investigator in China as well as in Germany. Testosterone and estrogen blood samples were collected once from every woman.
There were significant differences in specific symptoms of the Kupperman-Index, such as a higher prevalence of formication and depression in German menopausal women; whereas Chinese menopausal women suffered significantly more from vertigo, headache and paraesthesia symptoms. Concerning TCM-diagnosis, Shen (肾)-yang deficiency was diagnosed in 51.43% of the German women in contrast to 5.71 % of the Chinese women; 17.14 % of the German women were diagnosed as having Shen-yin deficiency compared to 74.29 % of the Chinese women. The German women showed significantly lower mean hormone levels for testosterone compared to the Chinese women (P⩽0.0005).
German and Chinese menopausal women do not show different prevalence but have different patterns of menopausal symptoms. Furthermore, from a TCM point of view, German women suffer more from Shen-yang deficiency whereas Chinese women suffer more from Shen-yin deficiency syndrome. These results are supported by significantly lower levels of testosterone in German women compared to Chinese women, which, in TCM, is a characteristic of yang deficiency.