The purpose of this study was to determine if postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes have clinical and biochemical evidence of androgen excess as a potential contributor to an increase in risk for coronary heart disease when compared with women without diabetes. Fasting glucose, insulin, lipids, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and sex steroids (from pooled samples) (total testosterone and free testosterone [non-SHBG-T], androstenedione [A-dione], total estrogens) were measured at baseline in 16 postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes treated with diet or a sulfonylurea and 17 age-matched controls. Measurements of glucose, insulin, and sex steroids were repeated at hourly intervals for 3 hours after oral glucose administration. Hirsutism scores and insulin sensitivity (homeotasis model assessment [HOMA] insulin [SI]) were obtained. Women with type 2 diabetes were more hyperglycemic, hyperinsulinemic, and insulin-resistant (HOMA SI, 46.7 ± 7.0 vs 12.9 ± 2.0, P < .001), and had higher total to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (TC/HDL) ratios, lower SHBG (20.8 ± 3.5 vs 59.3 ± 14.4 nmol/L, P < .05), higher non-SHBG-T (0.225 ± 0.025 vs 0.135 ± 0.021 nmol/L, P < .05), and higher hirsutism scores (1.1 ± 0.3 vs 0.3 ± 0.2, P = .004) than those without diabetes. No changes in sex steroids occurred after the oral glucose challenge. HOMA SI and area under the curve for glucose correlated significantly with SHBG (r = -0.42), non-SHBG-T (r = 0.40), and TC/HDL (r = 0.41) (all P < .05) in the combined groups. Postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes have both clinical and biochemical evidence of androgen excess that may contribute to more adverse cardiovascular risk profiles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism