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Endocr Pract. 2018 Jun;24(6):565-572. doi: 10.4158/EP-2017-0247. Epub 2018 Apr 6.

EXOGENOUS TESTOSTERONE DOES NOT INDUCE OR EXACERBATE THE METABOLIC FEATURES ASSOCIATED WITH PCOS AMONG TRANSGENDER MEN.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex condition which can include menstrual irregularity, metabolic derangement, and increased androgen levels. The mechanism of PCOS is unknown. Some suggest that excess production of androgens by the ovaries may cause or exacerbate the metabolic findings. The purpose of this study was to assess the role of increased testosterone on metabolic parameters for individuals presumed to be chromosomally female by examination of these parameters in hormone-treated transgender men.

METHODS:

In 2015 and 2016, we asked all transgender men who visited the Endocrinology Clinic at Boston Medical Center treated with testosterone for consent for a retrospective anonymous chart review. Of the 36 men, 34 agreed (94%). Serum metabolic factors and body mass index (BMI) levels for each patient were graphed over time, from initiation of therapy through 6 years of treatment. Bivariate analyses were conducted to analyze the impact of added testosterone.

RESULTS:

Regressions measuring the impact of testosterone demonstrated no significant changes in levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), triglycerides, or low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. There was a statistically significant decrease in BMI with increasing testosterone. There was also a statistically significant decrease in high-density lipoprotein levels upon initiation of testosterone therapy.

CONCLUSION:

Testosterone therapy in transgender men across a wide range of doses and over many years did not result in the dyslipidemia or abnormalities in HbA1c seen with PCOS. Instead, treatment of transgender men with testosterone resulted only in a shift of metabolic biomarkers toward the average physiologic male body.

ABBREVIATIONS:

BMI = body mass index; HbA1c = glycated hemoglobin; HDL = high-density lipoprotein; LDL = low-density lipoprotein; PCOS = polycystic ovary syndrome.

PMID:
29624102
DOI:
10.4158/EP-2017-0247
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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