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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 May;91(5):1714-22. Epub 2006 Feb 21.

The association of obesity and hyperandrogenemia during the pubertal transition in girls: obesity as a potential factor in the genesis of postpubertal hyperandrogenism.

Author information

1
The Center for Research in Reproduction and Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA. cm2hq@virginia.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Adolescent hyperandrogenemia is considered a forerunner of adult polycystic ovary syndrome, but its etiology remains uncertain.

OBJECTIVE:

Our objective was to explore the hypothesis that peripubertal obesity is associated with hyperandrogenemia.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data obtained at General Clinical Research Centers.

SUBJECTS:

Subjects were 41 obese [body mass index (BMI) for age, >or=95%] and 35 normal-weight (BMI for age, <95%) peripubertal girls.

INTERVENTION:

We used pooled blood samples (approximately 0500-0700 h; n = 64) while fasting or single morning (fasting) samples (n = 12).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

We assessed adiposity and androgen concentrations.

RESULTS:

BMI correlated with total testosterone (T) (r(s) = 0.59), SHBG (r(s) = -0.69), and free T (r(s) = 0.69); free T was three times as great in obese girls compared with normal-weight girls (P < 0.0001 for all). BMI correlated with insulin (r(s) = 0.52); both insulin and LH correlated with free T (r(s) = 0.45 and 0.44, respectively; P < 0.001 for all). When analyzing early pubertal girls (pubertal stages 1-3; n = 36) alone, BMI correlated with total T (r(s) = 0.65), SHBG (r(s) = -0.74), and free T (r(s) = 0.75); free T was five times as great in obese early-pubertal girls (P < 0.001 for all). BMI correlated with insulin (r(s) = 0.65), and insulin correlated with free T (r(s) = 0.63, P < 0.01 for both). BMI correlated with free T while simultaneously adjusting for age, pubertal stage, insulin, LH, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate.

CONCLUSION:

Peripubertal obesity is associated with marked hyperandrogenemia, which is especially pronounced in early puberty.

PMID:
16492701
DOI:
10.1210/jc.2005-1852
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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