AIM: To determine the pooled association between variations of prolactin serum levels within the physiological range and the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D).
METHODS: Pubmed, Scopus, Web of Science, and grey literature were searched for studies investigating the association between variations of prolactin serum levels in the normal range and the risk of T2D in adults. The risk of prevalent and incident T2D was summarized as the odds ratio or relative risk according to the quartile of prolactin serum concentration, using random-effects meta-analysis.
RESULTS: Of 2,014 articles identified, 6 met the inclusion criteria. Data were pooled from cross-sectional studies including 6,670 subjects and longitudinal studies involving 13,203 subjects. Men with prolactin levels in the fourth quartile versus those in the first quartile had decreased risk of prevalent T2D (OR 0.52; 95%CI 0.35-077). The same association was seen in women (OR 0.46; 95%CI 0.30-0.73). Conversely, prolactin levels in the fourth versus first quartile were not associated with the risk of incident T2D in men (RR 1.21; 95%CI 0.79-1.87) or women (RR 0.77; 95%CI 0.48-1.22).
CONCLUSION: Higher prolactin serum levels within the normal range were associated with reduced risk of prevalent but not incident T2D. Further studies are necessary to address whether this association is causal, but these findings raise the discussion regarding the optimal level of prolactin suppression in subjects undergoing therapy with dopaminergic agonists.
Keywords: Incident type 2 diabetes Prevalent type 2 diabetes Prolactin