Menopause carries increased metabolic syndrome risk
Menopausal women, regardless of age, are at risk of developing metabolic syndrome, as suggested in a study. The perimenopausal period may thus be an important preventive care opportunity to evaluate metabolic risk factors and improve health and longevity of women.
The cross-sectional analysis included 12,611 women aged 45–85 years who participated in the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging. Of these, 10,035 women (79.6 percent) had undergone menopause and 2,576 (20.4 percent) were premenopausal.
Significantly more postmenopausal than premenopausal women met the criteria for metabolic syndrome (32.6 percent vs 20.5 percent; p<0.001). Using the lower waist circumference threshold, the prevalence increased slightly although still higher among postmenopausal women (38.2 percent vs 23.2 percent; p<0.001).
Multivariable modified Poisson regression analysis revealed that the risk of metabolic syndrome using the unified criteria was not significantly elevated in the presence of menopause (adjusted relative risk [aRR], 1.09, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.99–1.19). However, menopause was associated with a significantly higher risk of metabolic syndrome when using the lower waist circumference criterion (aRR, 1.10, 95 percent CI, 1.01–1.19).
There was a significant risk increase observed for the following conditions: impaired glucose tolerance (aRR, 1.42, 95 percent CI, 1.26–1.59), elevated blood pressure (aRR, 1.12, 95 percent CI, 1.03–1.21), and elevated triglycerides (aRR, 1.17, 95 percent CI, 1.08–1.26).
Lifestyle interventions targeted at women with metabolic syndrome may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, the researchers said.