Endogenous sex hormones and glucose tolerance status in postmenopausal women

Sherita Hill Golden*, Adrian S. Dobs, Dhananjay Vaidya, Moyses Szklo, Susan Gapstur, Peter Kopp, Kiang Liu, Pamela Ouyang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

161 Scopus citations


Context: In postmenopausal women, endogenous estradiol (E2) and free testosterone (T) have been positively associated with glucose intolerance and type 2 diabetes. Most studies have not examined these associations in a large group of postmenopausal women. Objective: The objective was to examine the association between endogenous sex hormones and glucose tolerance in postmenopausal women. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a cross-sectional study of 1973 postmenopausal women ages 45-84 yr, not taking hormone replacement therapy, in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis baseline examination. Main Outcome Measures: Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and diabetes were defined based on fasting blood sugar and/or treatment for diabetes. In women with normal glucose tolerance, insulin resistance was estimated using homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). Results: Increasing quartiles of bioavailable T and E2 and decreasing quartiles of SHBG were associated with significantly increased odds of IFG and diabetes (all P for trend <0.001). Except for the association of bioavailable T with diabetes, the other associations persisted after multivariable adjustment. Although higher dehydroepiandrostenedione (DHEA) was associated with greater odds of IFG (P for trend = 0.02), it was not associated with diabetes. Of 1100 women with normal glucose tolerance, E2 and DHEA were positively associated, and SHBG was inversely associated with HOMA-IR (all P < 0.001) after multivariable adjustment. Bioavailable T was associated with HOMA-IR (P < 0.001), but not fasting glucose. Conclusion: Of postmenopausal women, endogenous bioavailable T, E2, and DHEA were positively associated and SHBG was negatively associated with insulin resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1289-1295
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Endocrinology
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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