Objectives: Although luteinizing hormone to follicular stimulating hormone (LH/FSH) ratio is a controversial criterion for identifying a sub-group of infertile women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and abnormalities at the level of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis, an elevated LH/FSH ratio is frequently observed in PCOS cases. Obesity and insulin resistance are highly prevalent among PCOS women. To date, no studies have examined the associations of LH/FSH ratio with these co-morbid conditions outside the context of pre- and peri-menopausal PCOS women. The objective of this study is to evaluate whether the LH/FSH ratio is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic disturbances and chronic inflammation among post-menopausal U.S. women, 35-60 years of age.
Study design: Cross-sectional study of 693 women who participated in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Main outcome measures: Body mass index, waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, fasting glucose, metabolic syndrome, Homeostasis Model Assessment for Insulin Resistance and C-reactive protein (CRP).
Results: Age- and hysterectomy-adjusted regression models suggest that CRP level is positively associated with LH/FSH ratio and LH/FSH>1, high glucose level and LH/FSH>2 are inversely related and HDL<50mg/dL is positively associated with both LH/FSH>1 and LH/FSH>2.
Conclusions: In a nationally representative sample of post-menopausal women, markers of chronic inflammation and dyslipidemia which are characteristics of PCOS-associated morbidities were also significantly associated with LH/FSH ratio, meriting further investigation.
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