Purpose: Our aim was to investigate the serum endocan levels and carotid artery intima-media thickness (CIMT) measurements of pre- and postmenopausal patients to clarify the relationship between the menopausal transition and endothelial injury.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on women who were premenopausal and postmenopausal between January 2019 and June 2019. The patients were divided into two groups according to premenopausal (n = 32) and postmenopausal (n = 32) status. Serum endocan levels were assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). CIMT ultrasonographic measurements were determined. Hormonal and biochemical parameters were measured. The validated Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) questionnaire was used on all women.
Results: Serum endocan levels were significantly higher in the postmenopausal group than in the premenopausal group (222.90 ± 121.00 ng/L and 146.62 ± 41.88 ng/L, p = 0.033, respectively). The mean CIMT was significantly higher in the postmenopausal group than in the premenopausal cohort (0.70 ± 0.14 mm and 0.58 ± 0.11 mm, p < 0.001, respectively). A positive correlation was found between body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure (SBP), abdominal circumference (AC), and CIMT and postmenopausal serum endocan levels. Serum endocan levels with a cutoff point of 141.14 ng/L identified women with significant CIMT levels with sensitivity of 73.8% and specificity of 77.3%. A positive correlation was found between CIMT and endocan and total MRS scores.
Conclusion: Serum endocan levels were associated with CIMT during the menopausal transition period. Increased circulating endocan levels can be a predictor of cardiovascular risk in pre- and postmenopausal women.
Keywords: Biomarker; Endocan; Endothelial dysfunction; Menopause.