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J Intern Med. 1995 May;237(5):465-72.

Hyperinsulinaemia and decreased plasma levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in premenopausal women with coronary heart disease.

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Department of Endocrinology, Medical Centre for Postgraduate Education, Warsaw, Poland.



The purpose of the study was to establish plasma levels of insulin, ovarian sex hormones and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) and to evaluate their correlations with lipids in premenopausal women with angiographically demonstrated coronary stenosis.


Differences in plasma levels of insulin, ovarian sex hormones, DHEA-S and lipids between groups were compared by analysis of variance.


From January 1993 until December 1993 patients were diagnosed in the Outpatient Clinic of the Department of Endocrinology Medical Centre for Postgraduate Education, Warsaw.


Premenopausal women with normal oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) results, with and without coronary stenosis were studied: 21 women after acute myocardial infarction with angiographically demonstrated coronary stenosis (women with CHD), and 14 women with chest pain, a positive exercise test without significant changes of coronary arteries on coronarography (women with normal coronarography, NC). The control group consisted of nine, healthy women with no risk factors for CHD.


In premenopausal women with CHD, the decreased plasma level of DHEA-S and hyperinsulinaemia were anticipated.


In women with CHD, the plasma levels of DHEA-S (926.5 +/- 83 ng mL-1) were significantly lower than those in women with NC (1375.7 +/- 181 ng mL-1) and in healthy controls (1984 +/- 127 ng mL-1), P < 0.02 and P < 0.001, respectively. The fasting insulin and insulin response to an OGTT in women with CHD and with NC was higher than in healthy subjects. A significant decrease of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, HDL-2 cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I, and an increase of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol C and apolipoprotein B levels in women with CHD compared to healthy controls were observed. A negative correlation between fasting insulin and the plasma levels of DHEA-S was established.


In premenopausal women, hyperinsulinaemia and decreased DHEA-S levels may contribute to the development of coronary atherosclerosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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