Horm Metab Res 2009; 41(10): 773-777
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1224104
Humans, Clinical

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Adipocytokines, Sex Hormones, and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Postmenopausal Women: Factor Analysis of the Rancho Bernardo Study

A. J. Krentz1 , D. von Mühlen1 , E. Barrett-Connor1
  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Department of Family & Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California, USA
Further Information

Publication History

received 17.12.2008

accepted 20.04.2009

Publication Date:
04 June 2009 (online)


Steroid sex hormones modulate the expression of adipocytokines implicated in the pathogenesis of athero-thrombotic cardiovascular disease. We used exploratory factor analysis to search for latent associations between circulating sex steroid hormones, adipocytokines, and cardiovascular risk factors in a well-characterized cohort of postmenopausal women. Among participants in the Rancho Bernardo community study we identified 515 Caucasian women with a mean age of 74±8 years and mean body mass index of 24.2±3.7 kg/m2. All had intact ovaries and none was using estrogen therapy. We constructed models aiming for structural clarity and high loading of variables on individual factors. Total adiponectin loaded with major lipid subfractions (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and fasting triglycerides) and with sex hormone-binding globulin. Leptin loaded with central obesity (waist circumference) and fasting insulin levels. Neither adipocytokine loaded with total or bioavailable testosterone or with estradiol or dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate. Sex hormones consistently loaded together on a separate factor; this co-segregation was not influenced by body mass index. Exclusion of women with diabetes did not alter these observations. In conclusion, we identified evidence of latent associations between adipocytokines and a range of cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal women. Our results suggest that cardiovascular risk in older women may be modulated through a hitherto unrecognized association between adiponectin, lipid subfractions, and sex hormone bioavailability.



E. Barrett-Connor, MD 

Division of Epidemiology

Department of Family & Preventive Medicine

University of California

San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive

La Jolla

92093-0607 California


Phone: +1/858/534 05 11

Fax: +1/858/534 86 25

Email: [email protected]