The Interrelationship of Menopause and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Tejal Lathia* and Sanjay Kalra

The Interrelationship of Menopause and Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Menopause is the cessation of menses for a year or more. The years preceding and succeeding
this event are fraught with medical and psychological issues which greatly impact a woman’s
quality of life.

Most women struggle with weight gain during this period. Whereas weight gain per se cannot
be attributed to the menopause transition, the change in the hormonal milieu at menopause
is associated with an increase in total body fat and an increase in abdominal fat.

A retrospective study showed that weight increase around pregnancy and menopause correlated
significantly with higher odds for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and/
or hypertension, irrespective of the number of children.

Midlife women are at significant T2DM risk due to the high prevalence of excess adiposity,
insulin resistance and disorders that contribute separately to T2DM risk such as sleep disorders
and depression.

It is well-known that there are gender differences in the burden of complications of T2DM.
Large-scale meta-analyses, summarizing all the evidence available to date from the best quality
epidemiological studies globally, have provided compelling evidence that T2DM confers
a 44% greater excess risk of coronary heart disease and a 27% greater excess risk of stroke in
women than in men, independent of sex differences in other major risk factors.

Thus, weight redistribution with increase in total body fat may predispose a woman to T2DM;
and the complications of T2DM tend to be more severe for women. Menopause is a golden
window where early diagnosis of T2DM is feasible and this window must not be missed.

Diabetes Res Open J. 2020; 6(1): 20-26. doi: 10.17140/DROJ-6-146