Severe exercise in young females is a potent cause of menstrual irregularity, although the exact pathogenesis is currently unknown. We performed a cross-sectional endocrine and metabolic analysis of a group of elite athletes and dancers in order to establish which variable, if any, was specifically associated with changes in menstruation. By using a step-wise discriminant analysis, two independent predictors, elevated serum cortisol and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1) levels, were found to account for the majority (67%) of the variance. IGFBP-1 is a hepatic protein which is acutely and inversely regulated by insulin, and is thought to modulate the peripheral actions of IGF-1. While the change in serum cortisol may reflect activation of central stress pathways, these findings suggest for the first time that there is a second peripheral signal, IGFBP-1, which may relate the availability of metabolic fuels to the control of reproduction.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|