Relationship of sex hormone-binding globulin to lipid, lipoprotein, glucose, and insulin concentrations in postmenopausal women

Metabolism. 1992 Mar;41(3):278-84. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(92)90271-b.


Sex hormones play a major role in determining the risk of cardiovascular disease. While several studies have shown that reduced sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is associated with increased insulin and triglyceride and decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLC) in premenopausal women, little data are available for postmenopausal women. We hypothesized that in postmenopausal women decreased SHBG would be associated with an atherogenic pattern of cardiovascular risk factors. We measured SHBG, lipids, lipoproteins, glucose, and insulin concentrations, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure in 101 postmenopausal women. SHBG was negatively associated with triglyceride (r = -.21) and insulin (r = -.47) concentrations and positively associated with HDLC concentrations (r = .47). After adjustment for overall adiposity (body mass index) and upper body adiposity (as measured by the ratio of waist to hip circumferences), SHBG was still associated with HDLC and insulin, but not with triglyceride. Sex hormones were not related to systolic and diastolic blood pressure. The results may help to explain an association of increased androgenicity, as measured by a lower SHBG concentration, with diabetes and risk of cardiovascular disease in older women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Menopause / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Triglycerides
  • Cholesterol