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Follicle-stimulating hormone is associated with lipids in postmenopausal women

Serviente, Corinna, PhD1,2; Tuomainen, Tomi-Pekka, MD, PhD3; Virtanen, Jyrki, PhD3; Witkowski, Sarah, PhD1,4; Niskanen, Leo, MD5,6; Bertone-Johnson, Elizabeth, ScD7

doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001273
Original Articles

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relation between FSH and lipid levels in postmenopausal women from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.

Methods: Postmenopausal women (n = 588) aged 53 to 73 years and not using hormone therapy were included. The relation between FSH and total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TGs) was evaluated using linear regression, adjusting for estradiol, body mass, smoking, and other hormonal and lifestyle factors. The relation between FSH, dyslipidemia, and abnormal lipid levels were also evaluated.

Results: FSH was positively and linearly associated with TC (P = 0.001) and LDL-C (P = 0.01) in all participants, with stronger relations seen in younger compared with older postmenopausal women. FSH was less strongly associated with HDL-C and TG. FSH was not associated with dyslipidemia; however, higher FSH was associated with increased risk of high TC (P = 0.02) and high LDL-C (P = 0.03).

Conclusions: These data suggest that higher FSH in postmenopausal women is related to higher levels of both TC and LDL-C.

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA

2Center for Healthy Aging, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

3Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

4Department of Exercise and Sports Studies, Smith College, Northampton, MA

5Department of Endocrinology, Helsinki University Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

6Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland

7Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA.

Address correspondence to: Corinna Serviente, PhD, 226 Noll Lab, University Park, PA 16802. E-mail:

Received 11 September, 2018

Revised 18 October, 2018

Accepted 18 October, 2018

Funding/support: Juho Vainio Foundation, the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research, Fulbright-Saastamoinen Foundation, and National Institute on Aging Grant T32 AG049676 to The Pennsylvania State University.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

© 2019 by The North American Menopause Society.