Objective: To compare the physical characteristics, emotional symptoms and metabolic conditions of menopausal women with and without non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).
Methods: We studied 100 menopausal women 45-72 years of age, 51 with and 49 without NIDDM, in a cross-sectional design. Biological characteristics were collected and emotional symptoms were assessed with a modified Hamilton and Bech-Rafaelsen scale, scoring depression, anxiety, non specific symptoms of depression (NSSD) and the empty nest syndrome (ENS). Weight, body mass index (BMI), waist/hip and abdomen/hip ratios and percent of body fat were registered. The sulfoconjugated form of the dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), cortisol and fasting, as well as postprandial insulin/glucose ratios, were measured in blood.
Results: Women with NIDDM had earlier mean age for menopause, more central obesity and less peripheral fat; they had also more prevalent emotional symptoms than non diabetic menopausal women. In women with NIDDM, symptoms were associated with years since diagnosis and with BMI. In non diabetic menopausal women schooling and attitudes to sexuality were associated with symptoms. FSH was inversely associated with BMI in both diabetic and non diabetic women; postprandial insulin/glucose ratio was correlated with central obesity in the group without NIDDM and cortisol with sitting systolic blood pressure (SBP) in the group with NIDDM.
Conclusion: The diagnosis of NIDDM and its metabolic conditions were associated with an increased frequency of some symptoms in menopausal women.