- 1Cardiovascular risk factors associated with the metabolic syndrome affect vascular functions adversely. The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship between parameters of glucose homeostasis and arterial stiffness in women with characteristics of the metabolic syndrome.
- 2Twenty post-menopausal women participated in a cross-sectional study in which systemic arterial compliance (SAC) and plasma glucose, lipids and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) were measured while subjects were maintained on a diet high in fibre, raised in protein and reduced in saturated fat.
- 3Regression analysis suggested that mean ( SD) fasting glucose of 5.9 ± 1.7 mmol/L, glucose levels 2 h after a 75 g glucose load of 6.8 ± 3.6 mmol/L, systolic blood pressure of 131 ± 12 mmHg and HbA1c of 5.3 ± 1.7% predicted SAC negatively. The following correlations were obtained between SAC and: (i) fasting glucose: R = -0.49, P = 0.028; (ii) 2 h glucose level post-glucose load: R = -0.42, P = 0.064; (iii) HbA1c: R = -0.42, P = 0.056; and (iv) systolic blood pressure: R = -0.55, P = 0.012.
- 4Relationships between SAC and fasting glucose and systolic blood pressure were significantly independent of each other. There was no evidence of relationships between SAC and any plasma lipid parameter (other than a trend in relation to plasma triglyceride), bodyweight or waist circumference.
- 5In conclusion, in post-menopausal women with metabolic syndrome, fasting plasma glucose and systolic blood pressure, and possibly HbA1c and the 2 h glucose post-glucose load, predicted increased arterial stiffness.