ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P567

Hyperandrogenism in pre- and post-menopausal obese women

Joana Ferreira1, Selma Souto1, Ana Oliveira1, Paula Freitas1, Flora Correia2, Ana Varela1, Davide Carvalho1 & Jose Luis Medina1


1Department of Endocrinology, São João Hospital, Porto, Portugal; 2Faculty of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Porto, Portugal.


Introduction: Obesity has been associated with increased androgenicity in women, however there are conflicting data on this subject. Objectives: To determine whether any androgen is independently related to body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) or age. To access if there is an association between elevated plasma androgen levels and the presence of either morbid obesity or metabolic syndrome (MS).

Design and Methods: A total of 148 obese women were evaluated in their first obesity medical appointment: 105 premenopausal and 43 postmenopausal. Anthropometric variables, plasma androgen (total testosterone; T, free testosterone; FT, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate; DHEA-S, androstenedione) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) concentrations were measured. The correlation coefficient and Fisher’s exact test were used, respectively, to determine the strength of the linear relationship and to evaluate the non-random association among variables.

Results: The patients had mean age of 41.8±11.7 years and mean BMI of 40.5±7.5 kg/m2; 60.1% of the women had morbid obesity. In premenopausal women, BMI was negatively correlated with SHBG (r=−0.21; P<0.05) and positively correlated with FT (r=0.27; P<0.05) and androstenedione (r=0.25; P<0.05). Age was negatively correlated with FT (r=−0.26; P<0.05), T (r=−0.26; P<0.05), DHEA-S (r=−0.35; P<0.05), androstenedione (r=−0.33; P<0.05) and T/SHBG ratio (r=−0.34; P<0.05). There was a positive correlation between WHR and DHEA-S (r=0.2; P<0.05). On the other hand, in postmenopausal women, there was only a negative correlation between BMI and SHBG (r=−0.46; P<0.05). There wasn’t an association between elevated serum androgen levels and the presence of morbid obesity or metabolic syndrome (MS).

Conclusions: In this study it was found a correlation between BMI and age with some of the studied androgens, only in premenopausal women.

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