Original paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 23, Issue 12, pp 1881-1891

First online:

Relationship of sex steroid hormones with body size and with body composition measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry in US men

  • Britton TrabertAffiliated withHormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute Email author 
  • , Barry I. GraubardAffiliated withBiostatistics Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute
  • , Sarah J. NyanteAffiliated withHormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute
  • , Nader RifaiAffiliated withDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston
  • , Gary BradwinAffiliated withDepartment of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s Hospital Boston
  • , Elizabeth A. PlatzAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins UniversitySidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • , Geraldine M. McQuillanAffiliated withCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, National Center for Health Statistics
  • , Katherine A. McGlynnAffiliated withHormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the association of body size—captured via whole-body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and physical measurement—with serum sex steroid hormones and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), we utilized cross-sectional data and serum samples from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; 1999–2004).

Methods

Testosterone, androstanediol glucuronide (3-alpha-diol-G), estradiol, and SHBG were measured via immunoassay in serum samples from a total of 898 adult men (ages 20–90) participating in the morning examination. As part of the NHANES data collection, DXA scans and measurements of weight, height, and waist circumference were performed by trained staff. Linear regression was used to estimate associations between body size and hormone levels adjusted for potential confounders and NHANES sampling procedures.

Results

Total bone area (cm2) was inversely associated with total testosterone (ng/mL) [beta = −0.12; p value < 0.01], while bone mineral density (g/cm2) was inversely associated with SHBG (nmol/L) [beta = −17.16; p value = 0.01]. Increased percent body fat was associated with lower concentrations of total testosterone [beta = −0.16; p value < 0.01] and SHBG [beta = −1.11; p value < 0.01] and higher concentrations of free estradiol (fg/mL) [beta = 12.52; p value < 0.01].

Conclusions

Clinical measures of body fat (measured via DXA scan) and anthropometric measures of body fat (BMI and waist circumference) provided similar inferences regarding the association between increased body fat and hormone levels in men. Increased body fat was associated with lower circulating levels of testosterone (total and free) and SHBG and higher circulating levels of free estradiol in men, while decreased bone mineral density was associated with higher circulating levels of SHBG.

Keywords

Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry DXA Estradiol Testosterone Androstanediol glucuronide Sex hormone binding globulin National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey NHANES Men