Influence of menopausal status on postprandial lipoprotein metabolism

Elizheeba Christie Abraham

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Menopausal status is a significant determinant of coronary heart disease (CHD) risk. A more pro-atherogenic lipoprotein profile, including an increase in fasting triglyceride (TAG) levels, is thought to be partly responsible for the increased risk in postmenopausal women. Although postprandial TAG is known to be a more significant determinant of CHD risk relative to fasting levels, information on the effect of menopausal status on postprandial TAG handling is lacking. Postprandial assessment was carried out on 22 healthy female volunteers. Following a standard breakfast (t=0h, 49g fat) and lunch (t=5.5h, 31g fat) regular blood samples were taken up to 8h post-breakfast. In addition at fixed timepoints ((t=0, 4, 6.5h) lipoprotein (chylomicrons, VLDL, LDL, HDL) separation was carried out. Significantly lower mean BMI, fasting TC and glucose was evident in the premenopausal (n=12) compared to postmenopausal (n=10) subgroups (P<0.05). Although no significant inter-group differences were observed for fasting TAG, postmenopausal women had a 31% higher area under the TAG postprandial curve (AUC) and a 54% higher incremental AUC (IAUC) compared to premenopausal women. Analysis of the lipoprotein subfractions, indicated significantly higher LDL-TAG at t=0h and VLDL-TAG at 4h in the postmenopausal participants. Delayed postprandial TAG-rich lipoprotein clearance may make a significant contribution to the increased CHD risk in postmenopausal women.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2004


  • lipoproteins
  • lipaemia
  • lipoprotein metabolism


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