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Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Aug;83(2):173-9. doi: 10.1111/cen.12755. Epub 2015 Mar 13.

The association between serum dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate (DHEA-S) level and bone mineral density in Korean men.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Health Promotion Center, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Many lines of evidence indicate that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) plays a distinct role in bone metabolism and that its sulphated form (DHEA-S), which is easily measured in blood, may be a potential biomarker of osteoporosis-related phenotypes. However, most previous epidemiologic studies focused on postmenopausal women and reported conflicting results.


We aimed to investigate the association between the serum DHEA-S level and bone mass in men.


This large cross-sectional study included 1089 healthy Korean men who participated in a routine health screening examination. Bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine, total femur, femur neck, and trochanter and serum DHEA-S level were obtained in all subjects.


After adjustment for age, body mass index, lifestyle factors and serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, testosterone, 25-OH-vitamin D3 and cortisol, higher serum DHEA-S concentrations were associated with higher BMD values at all skeletal sites. Consistently, compared to the subjects in the highest DHEA-S quartile (Q4), those in the lowest DHEA-S quartile (Q1) showed significantly lower BMD values. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that the odds ratios for the risk of lower BMD (T-score <-1) increased in a dose-dependent manner across decreasing DHEA-S quartiles and the odds for the risk of lower BMD were 2·59-fold higher in Q1 than in Q4.


These findings support previous evidences that DHEA-S has favourable effects on bone mass in men and suggest that a low serum DHEA-S level may be a potential risk factor for male osteoporosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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