Serum androgen levels and insulin resistance in postmenopausal women: association with hormone therapy, tibolone and raloxifene.Maturitas. 2005 Apr 11; 50(4):321-30.M
To assess endogenous androgen and insulin resistance status in postmenopausal women receiving continuous combined hormone therapy (HT), tibolone, raloxifene or no therapy.
A total of 427 postmenopausal women aged 42-71 years were studied in a cross-sectional design. Among them 84 were taking HT (46 women conjugated equine estrogens 0.625 mg; medroxyprogesterone acetate, 5 mg, CEE/MPA; and 38 women 17beta-estradiol 2 mg; norethisterone acetate 1 mg, E2/NETA); 83 were taking tibolone 2.5 mg; 50 were taking raloxifene HCl 60 mg; and 210 women were not receiving any therapy. Main outcome measures were FSH, LH, estradiol, total testosterone, SHBG, free androgen index (FAI), Delta4-Androstendione (Delta4-A), Dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) and HOMA insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR).
In women not on hormone therapy smoking and older age was associated with lower DHEAS levels. FAI values increased linearly with increasing BMI. Age and BMI were positive determinants of HOMA-IR, while no association was identified between endogenous sex steroids and insulin resistance. CEE/MPA therapy was associated with higher SHBG, lower FAI and lower HOMA-IR values compared to women not on therapy (age and BMI-adjusted SHBG: CEE/MPA 148.8 nmol/l, controls 58.7 nmol/l, p < 0.01; age-adjusted FAI: CEE/MPA 0.8, controls 3.2, p < 0.05; age-adjusted HOMA-IR: CEE/MPA 1.3, controls 2.6, p < 0.05). On the contrary, E2/NETA treatment had no effect on these parameters. Women on tibolone had lower SHBG, higher FAI and similar HOMA-IR values compared to controls (age and BMI-adjusted SHBG: 24.1 nmol/l, p < 0.01; FAI: 6.0, p < 0.05; HOMA-IR: 2.3, p = NS). Raloxifene users did not exhibit any difference with respect to sex steroids and HOMA-IR levels.
CEE/MPA users had lower free testosterone and improved insulin sensitivity. Tibolone on the other hand associated with higher free testosterone, while raloxifene did not relate to any of these parameters.