Study of carbohydrate metabolism indices and adipocytokine profile and their relationship with androgens in polycystic ovary syndrome after menopause

Marios C Markopoulos, George Valsamakis, Evangelia Kouskouni, Anastassios Boutsiadis, Ioannis Papassotiriou, George Creatsas, George Mastorakos
European Journal of Endocrinology 2013, 168 (1): 83-90

OBJECTIVE: Hyperandrogenism, insulin resistance, and altered adipocytokine levels characterize polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) women of reproductive age. Hyperandrogenism persists in postmenopausal PCOS women. In the latter, this study aimed at investigating carbohydrate metabolism, adipocytokines, androgens, and their relationships.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Blood sampling from overweight postmenopausal women (25 PCOS and 24 age- and BMI-matched controls) at baseline and during oral glucose tolerance test for measurement of insulin and glucose levels, baseline leptin, adiponectin, visfatin, retinol-binding protein 4, lipocalin-2, androgen, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels and for calculation of insulin sensitivity (glucose-to-insulin ratio (G/I), quantitative insulin sensitivity check index, and insulin sensitivity index (ISI)), resistance (homeostasis mathematical model assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR)), secretion (Δ of the area under the curve of insulin (ΔAUCI), first-phase insulin secretion (1st PHIS), and second-phase insulin secretion (2nd PHIS)), and free androgen indices (FAI).

RESULTS: PCOS women had higher insulin secretion indices, hs-CRP, androgen, and FAI levels than controls without differing in baseline glucose, insulin and adipocytokines levels, insulin sensitivity, and resistance indices. In PCOS women, FAI levels correlated positively with baseline insulin, ΔAUCI, HOMA-IR, and ΔAUCG and negatively with G/I; hs-CRP levels correlated positively with ΔAUCI and negatively with ISI. PCOS status, waist circumference, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) levels were positive predictors for ΔAUCI. In all women, waist circumference was a negative predictor for ISI; 17-OHP and FAI levels were positive predictors respectively for baseline insulin levels and for 1st PHIS and 2nd PHIS.

CONCLUSIONS: Early postmenopausal PCOS women are characterized by hyperinsulinemia but attenuated insulin resistance. PCOS status and waist circumference are predictors of hyperinsulinemia while insulin sensitivity correlates negatively with FAI. The differences reported in adipocytokine levels between PCOS and non-PCOS women in reproductive years seem to disappear after menopause.

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