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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2013 June;65(3):297-302

language: English

Endogenous sex hormones are not associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in menopausal women

Celestino Catão Da Silva D., Nogueira De Almeida Vasconcelos A., Cleto Maria Cerqueira J., De Oliveira Cipriano Torres D., Oliveira Dos Santos A. C., De Lima Ferreira Fernandes Costa H., Bregieiro Fernandes Costa L. O.

Division of Gynecological Endocrinology, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School, University of Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil


Aim: The aim of this paper was to compare the carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in pre- and postmenopausal women and to evaluate the association between endogenous sex hormones, body fat distribution, and insulin resistance and the IMT.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included 145 women aged 45–65 yr, comprising 56 premenopausal (FSH<20IU/mL and regular menstrual cycles) and 89 postmenopausal (FSH>40IU/ml and amenorrheic). All patients were evaluated for lipid profile, estradiol and testosterone, insulin ratio (G/I), HOMA-IR, and ultrasound measurement of IMT. Each variable was assessed for correlation with IMT using the univariate model.
Results: No difference was observed in IMT between pre- and postmenopausal women. A positive and statistically significant correlation was found between IMT and FSH levels (rs=0.21, P<0.009) and HOMA (rs=0.16, P<0.04). A positive and statistically significant correlation was observed between testosterone and waist (rs=0.3, P<0.04). No correlation was found between IMT and time of menopause (r=0.02, P=0.19).
Conclusion: Estradiol and testosterone are not associated with subclinical atherosclerosis in menopausal women. A positive correlation between IMT and FSH may reflect an association between low estrogen and IMT. Abdominal fat can be an important link between androgenic levels and cardiovascular risk.

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