Objective: Early puberty is associated with increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease. Low sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels are a feature of early puberty as well as conditions associated with increased cardiovascular risk. The aim of the present study was to evaluate SHBG as predictor of glucose metabolism and metabolic risk during puberty.
Research design and methods: Cross-sectional study on 132 healthy Caucasian children and adolescents evaluated by oral glucose tolerance test, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, direct oxygen uptake measurement during cycle ergometry and fasting blood samples.
Results: SHBG levels declined with advancement of puberty in both boys (P<0.001) and girls (P=0.019). SHBG was statistically significantly positively associated with insulin sensitivity in boys (P<0.001) and girls (P<0.001). In addition, SHBG was a strong predictor of insulin sensitivity (P=0.001) and the only predictor of the disposition index (P=0.031) after adjusting for puberty, fat mass and aerobic fitness. SHBG was significantly negatively associated with metabolic risk (P=0.032) independent of fat mass as well as hypersensitive CRP levels (P=0.004) independent of fat mass and insulin sensitivity.
Conclusions: SHBG was a strong predictor of insulin sensitivity and metabolic risk during puberty. Thus, we hypothesize that SHBG integrates the marked metabolic and body compositional changes that occur during pubertal transition.
25 - 29 Apr 2009
European Society of Endocrinology