Objectives: To determine if ghrelin and adipocytokine (leptin, adiponectin, resistin) levels vary with menopause stage or with estradiol (E2), testosterone (T), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations measured in three stages of the menopause transition.
Methods: A study of adipocytokines and menopause was nested in a population-based, longitudinal study of Caucasian women [Michigan Bone Health and Metabolism Study (MBHMS)]. Annual serum and urine samples, available from the MBHMS repository, were selected to correspond to the pre-, peri-, and postmenopause stages of the menopause transition. Participants included forty women, stratified into obese versus non-obese groups based upon their baseline body mass index, who had specimens corresponding to the three menopause stages.
Results: Mean resistin levels were approximately two times higher during premenopause compared to peri- or postmenopause. There were significantly lower adiponectin and higher ghrelin levels in the perimenopause stage, compared to either the pre- or postmenopause stage. Increases in FSH concentrations were significantly and positively associated with higher leptin in non-obese women (P<0.01) but not in obese women (P<0.23). Increases in FSH concentrations were also significantly (P<0.005) and positively associated with higher adiponectin concentrations but were negatively associated with ghrelin concentrations (P<0.005). Associations remained following adjustment for waist circumference, waist circumference change, chronological age, and time between measures.
Conclusions: Menopause stages and underlying FSH changes are associated with notable changes in levels of the metabolically active adipocytokines and ghrelin and these changes may be related to selected health outcomes observed in women at mid-life.