OBJECTIVE: Studies in animal models suggest that ovarian hormone deficiency is associated with the development of insulin resistance. In women, ovarian hormone levels are dramatically reduced after the menopause transition. However, the effect of the menopause transition on insulin sensitivity is unclear. Thus, we examined the effect of menopausal status on insulin sensitivity. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Insulin-stimulated glucose disposal was measured in 43 middle-aged premenopausal women (47 +/- 3 years of age) during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and 40 early postmenopausal women (51 +/- 4 years; time since menopause, 21 +/- 13 months) using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique. Body composition was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and abdominal fat distribution by computed tomography RESULTS: No difference in fat-free mass (FFM) was found between groups. Total body (P < 0.01), subcutaneous abdominal (P < 0.05), and intra-abdominal (P < 0.01) adiposity were greater in postmenopausal women compared with premenopausal women. No differences in insulin-stimulated glucose disposal were found between premenopausal and postmenopausal women on an absolute basis (pre, 436 +/- 130 vs. post, 446 +/- 120 mg/min), when expressed relative to FFM (pre, 10.7 +/- 3.0 vs. post, 11.5 +/- 3.6 mg x kg(-1) FFM x min(-1)) or when statistically adjusted for FFM (pre, 436 +/- 125 vs. post, 445 +/- 126 mg/min). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that menopausal status does not affect insulin sensitivity, as measured by the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique.

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