Androgens, Irregular Menses, and Risk of Diabetes and Coronary Artery Calcification in the Diabetes Prevention Program

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2018 Feb 1;103(2):486-496. doi: 10.1210/jc.2017-01829.


Context: It is unclear whether relative elevations in androgens or irregular menses (IM) are associated with greater cardiometabolic risk among women who are already overweight and glucose intolerant.

Research design and methods: We conducted a secondary analysis of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS). Participants included women with sex hormone measurements who did not use exogenous estrogen (n = 1422). We examined whether free androgen index (FAI) or IM was associated with diabetes risk during the DPP/DPPOS or with coronary artery calcification (CAC) at DPPOS year 10. Models were adjusted for menopausal status, age, race or ethnicity, randomization arm, body mass index (BMI), and hemoglobin A1c.

Results: Women had an average age of 48.2 ± 9.9 years. Elevations in FAI and IM were associated with greater BMI, waist circumference, and blood pressure and lower adiponectin. FAI was not associated with diabetes risk during the DPP/DPPOS [hazard ratio (HR) 0.97; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.93 to 1.02] or increased odds of CAC [odds ratio (OR) 1.06; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.23]. IM was also not associated with diabetes risk during the DPP/DPPOS (HR 1.07; 95% CI, 0.87 to 1.31) or increased odds of CAC (OR 0.89; 95% CI, 0.53 to 1.49). Women who had both relative elevations in FAI and IM had similar diabetes risk and odds of CAC as women without these conditions. Differences by treatment arm and menopausal status were not observed.

Conclusions: Among midlife women who were already glucose intolerant and overweight, androgen concentrations and IM did not additionally contribute to increased risk for diabetes or CAC.

Trial registration: NCT00038727.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / blood
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Menstruation Disturbances / complications*
  • Menstruation Disturbances / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / blood
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / complications
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / therapy*
  • Preventive Health Services
  • Risk Factors
  • Vascular Calcification / blood
  • Vascular Calcification / epidemiology
  • Vascular Calcification / etiology*


  • Androgens

Associated data