Obesity, and not insulin resistance, is the major determinant of serum inflammatory cardiovascular risk markers in pre-menopausal women.Diabetologia. 2003 May; 46(5):625-33.D
Increased serum inflammatory markers have been found in obesity and insulin-resistant states, and could play a causative role in insulin resistance, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. The polycystic ovary syndrome represents a human model of insulin resistance because both lean and obese polycystic ovary syndrome patients are insulin-resistant compared with non-hyperandrogenic women. We evaluated whether obesity, insulin resistance, or both, are related to the increased concentrations of inflammatory markers in pre-menopausal women.
We compared 35 patients with polycystic ovary syndrome and 28 healthy women, paired for BMI, prevalence of obesity and smoking. Measurements included serum inflammatory markers, BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, serum glucose, insulin, lipid and hormone concentrations, and insulin sensitivity index.
The insulin sensitivity index was reduced in polycystic ovary syndrome patients compared with controls. However, no differences were observed between both groups in C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, soluble type 2 tumour necrosis factor receptor, and soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1. When considering patients and controls as a whole, C-reactive protein and interleukin 6, were increased in obese subjects compared with lean women. Inverse correlations existed between insulin sensitivity index and C-reactive protein, interleukin 6, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, soluble type 2 tumour necrosis factor receptor, and soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1. Only the weak correlation with C-reactive protein persisted after controlling for BMI.
Obesity, and not insulin resistance, is the major determinant of serum inflammatory cardiovascular risk markers in pre-menopausal women.