The study objectives were to examine the association between menopause status and diabetes risk among women with glucose intolerance and to determine if menopause status modifies response to diabetes prevention interventions.
The study population included women in premenopause (n = 708), women in natural postmenopause (n = 328), and women with bilateral oophorectomy (n = 201) in the Diabetes Prevention Program, a randomized placebo-controlled trial of lifestyle intervention and metformin among glucose-intolerant adults. Associations between menopause and diabetes risk were evaluated using Cox proportional hazard models that adjusted for demographic variables (age, race/ethnicity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes mellitus), waist circumference, insulin resistance, and corrected insulin response. Similar models were constructed after stratification by menopause type and hormone therapy use.
After adjustment for age, there was no association between natural menopause or bilateral oophorectomy and diabetes risk. Differences by study arm were observed in women who reported bilateral oophorectomy. In the lifestyle arm, women with bilateral oophorectomy had a lower adjusted hazard for diabetes (hazard ratio [HR], 0.19; 95% CI, 0.04-0.94), although observations were too few to determine if this was independent of hormone therapy use. No significant differences were seen in the metformin (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.63-2.64) or placebo arms (HR, 1.37; 95% CI, 0.74-2.55).
Among women at high risk for diabetes, natural menopause was not associated with diabetes risk and did not affect response to diabetes prevention interventions. In the lifestyle intervention, bilateral oophorectomy was associated with a decreased diabetes risk.