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Int J Epidemiol. 1991 Mar;20(1):151-6.

Associations of body mass and fat distribution with sex hormone concentrations in postmenopausal women.

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  • 1Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


The associations of body mass and body fat distribution, as measured by waist-to-hip circumference ratio, with serum concentrations of sex hormones and sex hormone binding globulin were examined in 88 postmenopausal women. Body mass index (BMI) was significantly and negatively associated with sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) (r = -0.41), luteinizing hormone (LH) (r = -0.40) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) (r = -0.38) and was also significantly positively associated with both total and free oestradiol (r = 0.40 and 0.45, respectively). Waist-to-hip circumference ratio was significantly negatively correlated with SHBG (r = -0.53), LH (r = -0.35), and FSH (r = -0.35). After adjustment for BMI and other related factors, waist-to-hip circumference ratio was significantly and negatively associated with SHBG, LH, and FSH, and demonstrated a significant curvilinear relationship with free testosterone. These results suggest that in postmenopausal women, abdominal adiposity is associated with a relatively more androgenic sex hormone profile.

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