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Beschreibung des Verlags
Cessation of ovarian function and sex hormone deficiency are associated with metabolic disorders that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in women after menopause (1, 2). Changes in sex steroids may influence inflammatory processes and lipid metabolism during the menopausal transition. The status of estrogen in women at early perimenopause is similar to that of premenopause, whereas decreased estradiol is more likely in late perimenopause (3-11 months of amenorrhea) (3). Several studies have demonstrated that lipid concentrations, body weight, blood pressure, and insulin resistance increase after menopause and that endothelial function is impaired (4-7). Recent data indicate that chronic inflammation may lead to atherosclerosis in healthy populations. It has been suggested that systemic markers of inflammation such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) are important predictors of cardiovascular risk, and measurement of their concentrations may increase the predictive value of traditional lipid screening (8, 9). CRP assayed by high-sensitivity methods enables the evaluation of low-grade inflammation in early atherosclerosis. Rifai et al. (10,11) recently proposed algorithms for the prediction of cardiovascular disease risk using CRP and total cholesterol/ HDL-cholesterol (TC/HDL-C) or LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) values. We investigated the relationship between hormonal status and cardiovascular risk assessed by inflammatory markers and traditional laboratory variables in women during menopausal transition. Our study included 80 early perimenopausal [PERI; mean (SD) age, 47 (3) years] and 78 postmenopausal [POST; mean age (SD), 53 (4) years] healthy nonsmoking women. The PERI women had irregular menses during the previous 12 months and at least one climacteric symptom (hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, sleeping difficulties, or mood swings). The POST women were divided into 2 groups: 40 earlyPOST (1-5 years without menses) and 38 late-POST (6-10 years without menses). None of the women had hypertension, thyroid or liver disease, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, or chronic inflammation or was taking lipid-lowering or antiinflammatory agents, hormonal replacement therapy, or oral contraceptives before the study.