Table 1

Effects of obesity and chronic hyperinsulinemia on plasma sex steroid levels, in pre- and postmenopausal women

PremenopausalPostmenopausal
NormoandrogenicHyperandrogenic (PCOS)
SHBG
E1
E2 (total)
E2 unbound to SHBG
Δ-4A∼↑a
T (total)∼↑a
T unbound to SHBG↑↑
  • a Observed relationships between obesity/plasma insulin and plasma androgen levels in postmenopausal women are inconsistent across studies, and might depend on genetic factors predisposing to hyperandrogenism.