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Clin Chem. 1990 Feb;36(2):283-9.

Lipoprotein lipids in women with androgen excess: independent associations with increased insulin and androgen.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City.


Concentrations of triglycerides are increased and concentrations of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are low in women with hyperandrogenism. These alterations could be related to excessive androgen or estrogen, to hyperinsulinism, or to a combination of these abnormalities. We examined their independent influences on lipids in 21 women with hyperandrogenism, subgrouped according to apparent source of androgen excess. Results for lipid, androgen, and insulin did not differ among subgroups, so these data were pooled. Free plus albumin-bound testosterone (uT) was correlated with triglycerides (r = 0.69, P less than 0.01) and HDL cholesterol (r = -0.56, P less than 0.01). Both triglycerides (r = 0.66, P less than 0.01) and HDL cholesterol (r = -0.48, P less than 0.05) were also correlated with insulin measured during fasting. Partial correlation revealed that, after adjusting for insulin, lipids were associated with uT. This suggests that androgen excess is independently related to lipid excess. Insulin also was correlated with lipids when adjusted for uT. Free plus albumin-bound estradiol was not associated with any of the lipids. We conclude that altered lipids in women with hyperandrogenism result from the independent effects of androgen and insulin.

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