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Med Sci Monit. 2000 Nov-Dec;6(6):1159-64.

Relationships between age-related changes of sex steroids, obesity and body fat distribution among healthy Polish males.

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Institute of Anthropology, Polish Academy of Sciences, ul. Kuźnicza 35, 50-951 Wrocław, Poland.


During the process of aging in males a trend toward an unfavourable body fat accumulation, especially within the visceral depots, is observed. This fact is presumed to be associated with the age-related decline in androgen levels among aging men. The aim of this study was to determine the relationships between sex steroid levels (DHEAS, estradiol, free and total testosterone) and BMI, percent fat mass, WHR values in 190 healthy and professionally active men, aged 22-67, inhabitants of the city of Wroclaw, Poland. Hormonal levels were measured using standard immunoassays. BMI was used as a measurement of obesity. Obesity was also assessed using percent fat mass equations according to the Crook formula. WHR was used as an index of fat distribution. All the correlations between sex steroids, BMI, WHR, percent fat mass and age were evaluated using statistical non-parametric analyses (Spearman coefficient) in the entire group of examined subjects, and in two age-specific groups: a) younger males (aged 22-39) and b) older males (aged 40-67). The aging of Polish males is accompanied by both a significant increase of BMI, percent fat mass and WHR values, and by a decline in estradiol, gonadal and adrenal androgen levels. In the younger group only total testosterone levels were significantly negatively related to BMI, percent fat mass and WHR. Within the group of older men both estradiol and DHEAS levels are significantly positively related to WHR. The sex steroids seem to be associated with indices of overall obesity and distribution of fat in men, but these relationships differ considerably when they are evaluated in younger and older age categories. Worthy of notice is the fact that free testosterone levels are not related to any anthropometric parameters in any age category, although free testosterone (not total testosterone) is commonly recognised as a reliable and sensitive endocrinological indicator of the general psycho-physical status of an aging man.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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