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Exp Gerontol. 2004 Mar;39(3):321-31.

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and health: does the relationship differ by sex?

Author information

  • 1Center for Population and Health, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., USA.

Erratum in

  • Exp Gerontol. 2006 Mar;41(3):337.


This study uses data from a large, nationally representative sample of older Taiwanese (aged 54 and older in 2000) to investigate sex differences in the relationship between DHEAS and various health outcomes. Data collection included an individual interview, a physical examination, and samples of blood and (12-h) urine. Regression models of health outcomes on DHEAS are estimated in two steps: first, including only controls for age and sex as well as an interaction between DHEAS and sex; and second, adding covariates likely to be related to both DHEAS and health outcomes (e.g. smoking). Results reveal that higher levels of DHEAS are associated with fewer mobility limitations (especially for women), better cognitive function (among women but not men), and better self-rated health (significant only for men but of similar magnitude for women). These findings are in contrast to previous studies conducted in the US and Europe that generally find stronger associations for men than women. Also unlike previous studies, which often demonstrate a negative relationship between DHEAS and depressive symptoms at least for women, we find little evidence of such a relationship for either sex.

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