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Menopause Linked to Elevated Fasting Plasma Glucose Levels in Nondiabetic Women

  • Authors: News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD
    CME Author:
    Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd
  • CME Released: 5/8/2007
  • Valid for credit through: 5/8/2008, 11:59 PM EST
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Target Audience and Goal Statement

This article is intended for primary care clinicians, gynecologists, endocrinologists, and other specialists who care for women.

The goal of this activity is to provide medical news to primary care clinicians and other healthcare professionals in order to enhance patient care.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • List factors associated with increased fasting plasma glucose levels in nondiabetic premenopausal and postmenopausal women.
  • Describe the risk for glucose intolerance in premenopausal vs postmenopausal women.



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  • Laurie Barclay, MD

    Laurie Barclay is a freelance reviewer and writer for Medscape.


    Disclosure: Laurie Barclay, MD, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

CME Author(s)

  • Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd

    Clinical Professor, Family Medicine, University of California, Orange; Director, Division of Faculty Development, UCI Medical Center, Orange, California


    Disclosure: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEd, has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

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Menopause Linked to Elevated Fasting Plasma Glucose Levels in Nondiabetic Women

Authors: News Author: Laurie Barclay, MD CME Author: Désirée Lie, MD, MSEdFaculty and Disclosures

CME Released: 5/8/2007

Valid for credit through: 5/8/2008, 11:59 PM EST


May 8, 2007 — In nondiabetic women, menopause, but not age, is an independent risk factor for elevated fasting plasma glucose levels, according to the results of a study published in the May-June issue of Menopause.

"Glucose metabolism is influenced by various genetic and environmental factors," write Michio Otsuki, MD, from the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine in Osaka, Japan, and colleagues. "In women the prevalence of abnormal glucose metabolism is known to increase around and after age 50. The aim of this study was to determine whether menopause augments fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels in women."

Of 672 women in Japan undergoing health examinations, 505 did not have diabetes, had no history of hysterectomy, and had never used estrogens or progestins. All participants underwent an oral glucose tolerance test and recording of blood measurements and provided information about their menopausal status.

Of the 505 women, 208 were premenopausal and 297 were postmenopausal. Age, body mass index (BMI), triglyceride level, total cholesterol level, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level, blood pressure, and homeostasis model assessment insulin sensitivity index increased across quintiles of FPG levels. However, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level and homeostasis model assessment pancreatic β-cell function index were not correlated with FPG levels.

The number of premenopausal women decreased and the number of postmenopausal women increased across quintiles of FPG levels. Age, BMI, triglyceride level, LDL cholesterol level, and menopausal status were associated with FPG level, but HDL cholesterol level was not, based on univariate regression analysis. Independent risk factors for elevated FPG levels, based on stepwise multivariate regression analysis, were BMI, menopause, and triglyceride level, but age and LDL cholesterol level did not contribute to FPG levels.

"Menopause, but not age, is directly involved in augmented FPG levels in nondiabetic women," the authors write.

Study limitations include cross-sectional design and relatively small sample size.

"Although there are gender differences in the development of diabetes, gender-specific therapies for the prevention of diabetes and its vascular complications have not yet been developed," the authors conclude. "Therapeutic approaches taking into consideration the direct effect of menopause on FPG levels are therefore important for the prevention and treatment of diabetes in postmenopausal women."

The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture of Japan supported this study. The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Menopause. 2007;14:404-407.

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