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Metabolism. 1991 Jan;40(1):101-4.

Effect of obesity and body fat distribution on sex hormones and insulin in men.

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Istituto di Clinica Medica e Gastroenterologia, University Alma Mater of Bologna, S Orsola Hospital, Italy.


To investigate the relationship between body fat distribution, sex hormones, and hyperinsulinemia in male obesity, we examined 52 obese men (body mass index [BMI], 35.0 +/- 6.1, mean +/- SD) and 20 normal-weight controls. Their waist to hip circumference ratio (WHR), which was used as an index of fat distribution, was 0.985 +/- 0.052 and 0.913 +/- 0.061 (P less than .005), respectively. Compared with controls, obese men presented significantly lower levels of total (357 +/- 132 v 498 +/- 142 ng/dL; P less than .005) and free testosterone (14.2 +/- 2.9 v 17.1 +/- 2.6 pg/mL; P less than .05) and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG; 41.7 +/- 31.9 v 66.2 +/- 18.6 nmol/L; P less than .001) without any significant difference on the other sex steroid or on gonadotropin concentrations. Fasting and glucose-stimulated insulin and C-peptide levels were significantly higher in obese than in controls, and in obese with the WHR value greater than 0.97 (corresponding to the distribution median) than in those with WHR lower or equal to 0.97. BMI was negatively correlated with testosterone (P less than .005), free testosterone (P less than .01), and SHBG (P less than .001) and positively with fasting (P less than .001) and glucose-stimulated (P less than .005) C-peptide concentrations, whereas no relationship was found between these variables and WHR values. On the contrary, WHR was significantly correlated with fasting and post-glucose insulin levels (P less than .05), but not with those of sex steroids.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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