Vol 56, No 6 (2005)
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Published online: 2006-06-26

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The relationship between testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations, insulin resistance and visceral obesity in elderly men

Michał Rabijewski, Jarosław Kozakowski, Wojciech Zgliczyński
Endokrynol Pol 2005;56(6):897-903.


Introduction. Sex hormones deficiency - hypotestosteronemia (20-30% of men) and dehydroepian-drosterone sulfate deficiency (60-70% of men) are often observed in elderly men. In these men also changes of body composition (visceral obesity, increasing of fat mass), and metabolic disturbances (hypercholesterolemia, hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance) are common disorders. Visceral obesity and insulin resistance may be either reasons or effects of testosterone deficiency. Probably also DHEA-S deficiency is the risk factor of visceral obesity and insulin resistance, but it is not clear, whether this possible influence is independent from testosterone deficiency.
Objectives. The aim of this study was to analyze the association between testosterone and DHEA deficiency and waist/hip ratio (WHR), levels of glucose and insulin resistance (HOMA and FG/FI) in elderly men as well as analysis, whether these sex hormones influent on measured parameters separately.
Material and methods. Together 85 men with age from 60 to 70 years men (mean 66,3±1,5 years; mean±SEM) was analyzed. Testosterone levels <4 ng/ml or DHEA levels <2000 ng/ml and BMI<30kg/m2 were including criteria. Patients were divided into three groups: 52 with testosterone deficiency (L-T), 32 with DHEA deficiency (L-DHEA-S) and 67 with deficiency of both sex hormones (L-T/DHEA-S). Statistical analysis was made using Student-t, Kruskal-Wallis, and Mann-Whitney tests.
Results. Testosterone levels in L-T, L-DHEA and L-T/DHEA groups were respectively 3,19 ± 0,23 ng/ml, 4,89 ± 0,45 ng/ml and 3,25 ± 0,34 g/ml (p<0,002). While DHEA-S levels were respectively 2498 ± 98 ng/ml, 1435 ± 1010 ng/ml and 1501 ± 89 ng/ml). BMI values do not differ between groups. WHR ratio values were the highest in L-T/DHEA-S group (p<0,05 vs. L-T) group, significant lower in L-T group (p<0,005 vs. L-DHEA-S) and the lowest in L-DHEA-S group. Insulin fasting levels were lowest in L-DHEA-S group, higher in L-T group (p<0,01) and the highest in L-T/DHEA-S group (p<0,001 vs, L-T group). FG/FI values were the highest in L-DHEA-S group, lower in L-T group (NS) and lowest in L-T/DHEA group (p<0,002 vs. L-T group). HOMA ratio values similarly did not change significantly between L-T (6,6 ± 3,21) and L-DHEA-S group (5,5 ± 2,92), although tendency to higher values in L-T group was noticed, while WHR ratio values were significantly higher in L-T/DHEA group (7,3 ± 2,45; p<0,002 vs. L-T group).
Conclusions. DHEA-S and testosterone deficiency were independently associated with higher insulin resistance and obesity. WHR ratio seems to be more sensitive then BMI ratio to reflect the androgen deficiency on obesity and body composition in elderly men.

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