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