Relationship of sex hormones to lipids and lipoproteins in nondiabetic men

Steven M. Haffner, Leena Mykkäinen, Rodolfo A. Valdez, Michael S. Katz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

193 Scopus citations


Although many studies show that increased androgenicity is associated with increased triglyceride (TG) and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol in both pre- and postmenopausal women, relatively few data are available on the association of sex hormones to lipids and lipoproteins in men. We examined the association of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), total and free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-SO4), and estradiol with lipids and lipoproteins in 178 nondiabetic men from the San Antonio Heart Study, a population-based study of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The TG concentration was significantly inversely related to SHBG (r = -0.22), free testosterone (r = -0.15), total testosterone (r = -0.22), and DHEA-SO4 (r = -0.16). High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was significantly positively correlated to SHBG (r = 0.21), free testosterone (r = 0.15), total testosterone (r = 0.17), and DHEA-SO4 (r = 0.16). Total testosterone was significantly related to total cholesterol (r = -0.17) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = -0.15). After adjustment for age, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, and glucose and insulin concentrations, TG concentrations remained significantly related to SHBG (r = -0.20), free testosterone (r = -0.15), and DHEA-SO4 (r = -0.18), and HDL cholesterol remained significantly associated with SHBG (r = 0.17), free testosterone (r = 0.15), total testosterone (r = 0.14), and DHEA-SO4 (r = 0.16). In conclusion, we observed a less atherogenic lipid and lipoprotein profile with increased testosterone concentrations. This was not explained by differences in glucose or insulin concentrations. However, sex hormones explained only a small percentage of the variation in total TG and HDL cholesterol concentrations. These findings are in striking contrast to data from women, in whom increased androgenicity is strongly associated with increased TG and decreased HDL cholesterol levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1610-1615
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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