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Prolactin as a predictor of endothelial dysfunction and arterial stiffness progression in menopause

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Konstantinos Stellos


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© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. Postmenopausal women are at increased risk for progression of arteriosclerosis and hypertension. Recent cross-sectional evidence suggests that high normal circulating prolactin levels may accelerate vascular ageing in menopause. Postmenopausal women (n=201) were consecutively recruited from a Menopause Clinic and re-evaluated in at least one follow-up visit within the next 3 years. Baseline circulating prolactin levels were measured while both baseline and follow-up vascular and biochemical measurements were performed. Endothelial function was assessed by flow-mediated dilation (FMD), aortic stiffness by pulse-wave velocity (PWV) and arterial wave reflections by applanation tonometry. Baseline prolactin significantly correlated with lower FMD at follow-up (P=0.005). After multivariable adjustment for age, follow-up time, blood pressure (BP), body mass index, smoking and medication, this correlation remained significant (P=0.003). In addition, baseline circulating prolactin levels were independently associated with changes in mean BP (β=0.131, P=0.021), peripheral diastolic BP (β=0.169, P=0.004) and new-onset hypertension (OR=1.235, P=0.001). Owing to significant interaction between baseline prolactin and age for changes in PWV over time (P=0.036), a subgroup analysis based on median age was performed. This analysis revealed that in women younger than 55 years, prolactin was an independent predictor of changes in PWV over time (P=0.008). In conclusion, high normal circulating prolactin levels predict changes in haemodynamic indices and worsening endothelial function in healthy postmenopausal women. Particularly in young postmenopausal women, prolactin predicts accelerated arterial stiffening.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Georgiopoulos G, Lambrinoudaki I, Athanasouli F, Armeni E, Koliviras A, Augoulea A, Rizos D, Papamichael C, Protogerou A, Stellos K, Stamatelopoulos K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Human Hypertension

Year: 2017

Volume: 31

Issue: 8

Pages: 520-524

Online publication date: 23/03/2017

Acceptance date: 25/01/2017

ISSN (print): 0950-9240

ISSN (electronic): 1476-5527

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/jhh.2017.15

PubMed id: 28332508


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