Menopausal transition has been associated with the emergence of metabolic abnormalities, which may increase risk for chronic medical conditions in women. This study compared metabolic function between premenopausal women (n=152), postmenopausal women (n=88), and men (n=98) recruited for treatment studies for obesity co-occurring with binge eating disorder (BED), a high-risk population for developing metabolic syndrome (MetS). Postmenopausal women were more likely than premenopausal women to show elevated total cholesterol (OR=2.75; 95% CI=1.56-4.80) and poor glycemic control (OR=2.92; 95% CI=1.32-6.33) but were more likely to have lower HDL levels (OR=0.36; 95% CI=0.19-0.68). These became non-significant after adjusting for age. Both pre- and postmenopausal women were less likely than age-matched men to show elevated levels of triglycerides (OR=0.27; 95% CI=0.13-0.53 [postmenopausal], OR=0.29; 95% CI=0.16-0.53 [premenopausal]), blood pressure (OR=0.48; 95% CI=0.25-0.91 [postmenopausal], OR=0.40; 95% CI=0.23-0.69 [premenopausal]), and less likely to have MetS (OR=0.41; 95% CI=0.21-0.78 [postmenopausal], OR=0.46; 95% CI=0.27-0.79 [premenopausal]). Premenopausal women were also less likely to have elevated fasting glucose level (OR=0.50; 95% CI=0.26-0.97) than age-matched men. Among obese women with BED, aging may have a more profound impact on metabolic abnormalities than menopause, suggesting the importance of early intervention of obesity and symptoms of BED. The active monitoring of metabolic function in obese men with BED may also be critical.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health ( K23 DK092279 , R01 DK073542 , R01 DK49587 , K24 DK070052 , K12 DA031050 , P50 DA033945 ). The funding agency (NIH) had no role in the preparation or the content of this paper. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the National Institutes of Health had no role other than financial support.
- Binge eating disorder
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sex differences