During the transition from premenopause to postmenopause, many women experience weight gain and central fat deposition; therefore, we hypothesized that circulating growth factors can play a role in the pathogenesis of hypertension, metabolic syndrome, and subclinical organ damage in perimenopausal women.
The study included 192 women aged 40 to 60years; 152 had newly diagnosed essential hypertension that had never been treated, and 40 were normotensive age-matched controls. For all subjects, 24-h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM), echocardiographic examination with assessment of left ventricular mass (LVM) and systolic and diastolic functions (GE Vivid 7.0, General Electric Vingmed Ultrasound, Horten, Norway), carotid ultrasound with measurement of intima-media thickness, and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurement (SphygmoCor, AtCor Medical, Sydney, Australia) were performed. Serum levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 2 (IGFBP-2), and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein 3 (IGFBP-3) were measured using an immunochemical assay.
Hypertensive women had significantly lower IGFBP-2 levels than did normotensive controls (162.9±83.7 vs. 273.1±103.0μg/L, p<0.001); the groups did not differ regarding IGF and IGFBP-3 concentrations. After adjusting the covariates, multivariate analysis showed that IGFBP2 was significantly negatively correlated with 24-h systolic blood pressure (β=-0.31, p=0.02). The adjusted odds ratio for hypertension per standard deviation decrease in IGFBP-2 was 3.43 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.65-7.13). IGFBP-2 showed a negative correlation with the number of metabolic syndrome components. Independent of body composition, IGFBP-2 was significantly related to left ventricular relative wall thickness and the ratio of mitral inflow velocities as parameter of diastolic function.
In perimenopausal women, decreased IGFBP-2 levels may play a role in blood pressure regulation and the development of subclinical left ventricular diastolic dysfunction. Whether IGFBP-2 is a marker or a mediator of cardiovascular disease in this population merits further investigation.
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