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Piotr Skałba, Mariusz Wójtowicz, Jerzy Sikora
Med Sci Monit 2003; 9(3): CR152-156
BACKGROUND: The purpose of our study was to evaluate androgen and SHBG concentration in the blood serum of late post-menopausal women. MATERIAL/METHODS: We examined women between 65 and 75 years of age and compared their results to those of a group of women in reproductive age. All the subjects, in addition to medical and gynecologic examinations, had determinations done of bound testosterone, free testosterone, androstenedione, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and estradiol. RESULTS: The mean concentration of bound testosterone was found to be higher in postmenopausal women than in young women. The concentration of free testosterone did not vary, while the concentration of androstenedione was lower in the postmenopausal women, as were the DHEA and DHEAS concentrations. The mean SHBG concentration was higher in the postmenopausal women, and lower in obese postmenopausal women than in non-obese women. No differences were found in terms of the examined parameters between subjects with cardiovascular diseases and those without, or between smokers and non-smokers. CONCLUSIONS: The extinction of ovary function and aging of a woman is related to secondary changes of androgen concentrations in blood serum. In late postmenopausal women, the SHBG concentration increases, which is related to the increase of total testosterone concentration in blood serum. Obesity affects the reduction of SHBG concentration in blood serum in postmenopausal women. Cardiovascular diseases and smoking have no significant effect on androgen concentration and SHBG changes in blood serum in postmenopausal women.