HealthDay News — Among US women, a normally high circulating prolactin concentration is associated with a reduced risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online October 11 in Diabetologia.
Jun Li, PhD, from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues examined the prospective correlation between circulating prolactin concentrations and type 2 diabetes risk in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and NHSII with up to 22 years of follow-up.
During 156,140 person-years of follow-up, 699 incident type 2 diabetes cases were documented. The researchers observed an inverse association between total plasma prolactin levels and type 2 diabetes risk; comparing the highest with the lowest quartile, the multivariable hazard ratio was 0.73. The results were similar by menopausal status and were not altered significantly after additional adjustment. Compared with total prolactin, the association of plasma bioactive prolactin with type 2 diabetes risk was non-significantly stronger. During the first 9 years after blood draw, the inverse association of total prolactin with type 2 diabetes was significant but waned linearly with time; for bioactive prolactin, the inverse association persisted for longer after blood draw.
“Our epidemiological observations, coupled with previous population data and emerging experimental evidence, support a potential protective role of prolactin (within the biologically normal range) in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes risk in women,” the authors write.