Pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in postmenopausal women with the metabolic syndrome.Gynecol Endocrinol. 2011 Sep; 27(9):685-91.GE
Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (METS) and its components significantly increase after the menopause. Related increased cardiovascular risk may partially be explained by a pro-inflammatory state.
To assess pro-inflammatory cytokine serum levels in postmenopausal women with and without the METS.
Serum of 90 postmenopausal women who previously participated in a METS screening programme was analysed for tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Cytokine levels were compared among those with and without the syndrome, and for each of its components. Linear relationships were also assessed between cytokine levels and several continuous variables including each diagnostic METS criteria and menopausal symptoms assessed with the Menopause Specific Quality of Life tool (MENQOL).
For all studied women mean age was 55.1 ± 7.3 years with 63.3% having abdominal obesity, 15.6% hyperglycaemia, 58.9% high triglycerides, 44.4% hypertension and 25.6% high total cholesterol levels. Women with the METS (n = 45) significantly had higher body mass index values, and higher rates of abdominal obesity, hyperglycaemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension and lower HDL-C levels. Cytokine levels did not differ among women with or without the METS; however, independent of METS diagnosis those with abdominal obesity displayed significantly higher IL-6 levels and those with hypertension higher levels of both cytokines. Levels of both cytokines positively correlated with age and time since menopause, IL-6 positively correlating with waist circumference values and TNF-α positively with both systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. A significant positive correlation was also found between the number of positive METS criteria (0-5) and both cytokine levels. Cytokine levels did not correlate with vasomotor and psycho-social MENQOL scores.
Pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in this postmenopausal series positively correlated with age, time since the menopause, abdominal circumference, blood pressures levels and the number of positive METS diagnostic criteria. There is a need for more research in this regard.