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Lower endogenous androgens predict central adiposity in men.

Khaw KT, Barrett-Connor E.

Department of Clinical Gerontology, University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine, United Kingdom.

Central adiposity, sometimes described as male pattern fat distribution, is adversely related to cardiovascular risk and mortality independent of other measures of obesity. In a cohort of 511 men aged 30 to 79 years in 1972 to 1974, levels of androstenedione, testosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin measured at baseline were inversely related to subsequent central adiposity, estimated 12 years later using the waist-hip circumference ratio. The observed differences in waist-hip ratio between top and bottom tertiles of these hormones and sex hormone-binding globulin were similar to mean waist-hip ratio differences between men with stroke or ischemic heart disease and those without in another prospective study. These findings, consistent with studies suggesting that testosterone seems to mobilize the abdominal depot on males, suggest that "male pattern" fat distribution may be a misleading description for central adiposity, at least, in men. Degree of maleness as indicated by total androgen levels is, in fact, negatively associated with central adiposity. However, the role of sex hormone-binding globulin in regulating androgenic activity warrants further investigation.

PMID: 1342319 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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