Ectopic Lipid Deposition Is Associated With Insulin Resistance in Postmenopausal Women

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Julie Abildgaard, Else Rubaek Danielsen, Emma Dorph, Carsten Thomsen, Anders Juul, Caroline Ewertsen, Bente Klarlund Pedersen, Anette Tonnes Pedersen, Thorkil Ploug, Birgitte Lindegaard

Context: Menopause is associated with an increased incidence of insulin resistance and diabetes.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the lipid deposition in liver and skeletal muscle and investigate the association with insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal and premenopausal women.

Design and Setting: Single-center cross-sectional study of 55 healthy women between 45 and 60 years of age. We measured lipid deposition in the liver with magnetic resonance spectroscopy, intramuscular and intra-abdominal lipid deposition with MRI, body composition with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, and insulin sensitivity with the composite Matsuda Index.

Outcome Measures: We studied the association between fat distribution, ectopic lipid deposition, and insulin sensitivity in pre- and postmenopausal women.

Results: Postmenopausal women had an increased lipid deposition in the liver [0.68% (0.44 to 0.99) vs 0.49% (0.38 to 0.64), P= 0.01] and skeletal muscle [3% (2 to 4) vs 2% (1 to 3), P= 0.001] and had a 28% lower Matsuda insulin sensitivity index during an oral glucose tolerance test (6.31 +/- 3.48 vs 8.78 +/- 4.67, P= 0.05) compared with premenopausal women. Total fat mass and leg fat mass were stronger predictors of ectopic lipid deposition, and visceral fat mass was a stronger predictor of both ectopic lipid deposition and insulin resistance in postmenopausal women compared with premenopausal women.

Conclusions: For a given subcutaneous and visceral fat depot size, postmenopausal women show increased ectopic lipid deposition and insulin resistance compared with premenopausal women. It is suggested that lipid deposition in liver and skeletal muscle may represent important mechanistic links between the changes in fat depots and the increased incidence of insulin resistance seen after menopause.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Volume103
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)3394-3404
ISSN0021-972X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

ID: 211991322