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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Relationships between age-related changes of sex steroids, obesity and body fat distribution among healthy Polish males.

M Medraś, Z Welon, E A Jankowska, E Rogucka

Med Sci Monit 2000; 6(6): EP1159-1164

ID: 421208

Available online:


During the process of aging in males a trend toward an unfavourable bodyfat accumulation, especially within the visceral depots, is observed. This fact is presumed to be associatedwith the age-related decline in androgen levels among aging men. The aim of this study was to determinethe relationships between sex steroid levels (DHEAS, estradiol, free and total testosterone) and BMI,percent fat mass, WHR values in 190 healthy and professionally active men, aged 22-67, inhabitants ofthe city of Wroclaw, Poland. Hormonal levels were measured using standard immunoassays. BMI was usedas a measurement of obesity. Obesity was also assessed using percent fat mass equations according tothe Crook formula. WHR was used as an index of fat distribution. All the correlations between sex steroids,BMI, WHR, percent fat mass and age were evaluated using statistical non-parametric analyses (Spearmancoefficient) in the entire group of examined subjects, and in two age-specific groups: a) younger males(aged 22-39) and b) older males (aged 40-67). The aging of Polish males is accompanied by both a significantincrease of BMI, percent fat mass and WHR values, and by a decline in estradiol, gonadal and adrenalandrogen levels. In the younger group only total testosterone levels were significantly negatively relatedto BMI, percent fat mass and WHR. Within the group of older men both estradiol and DHEAS levels are significantlypositively related to WHR. The sex steroids seem to be associated with indices of overall obesity anddistribution of fat in men, but these relationships differ considerably when they are evaluated in youngerand older age categories. Worthy of notice is the fact that free testosterone levels are not relatedto any anthropometric parameters in any age category, although free testosterone (not total testosterone)is commonly recognised as a reliable and sensitive endocrinological indicator of the general psycho-physicalstatus of an aging man.

Keywords: Adipose Tissue, Adult, Aging, Body Constitution, Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate, Estradiol, Gonadal Steroid Hormones, Obesity, Poland, Testosterone