Pedersen SB, Borglum JD, Brixen K, Richelsen B. Relationship between sex hormones, body composition and metabolic risk parameters in premenopausal women. Eur J Endocrinol 1995;133: 200–6. ISSN 0804–4643
The metabolic complications associated with obesity are dependent upon the degree of obesity and the distribution of adipose tissue. In order to evaluate the associations between sex hormone status, metabolic risk parameters, obesity and distribution of adipose tissue, 25 premenopausal women with a wide range of body mass index (19.3–48.1 kg/m2 were studied. Body composition was determined by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan and anthropometric measurements; in addition, lipid and sex hormone status were determined and an oral glucose tolerance test was performed. We found that sex hormone-binding globulin was correlated negatively with total fat mass (r = –0.77, p < 0.001) and especially with abdominal localization of adipose tissue (r = –0.85, p < 0.001). Free testosterone was correlated positively with total fat mass (r = 0.40, p < 0.05) and with abdominal fat accumulation (r = 0.64, p < 0.001). Free estrogen was correlated negatively with total amount of adipose tissue (r = –0.40, p < 0.05) but not with the distribution of adipose tissue, Finally, total fatness, abdominal localization of adipose tissue and free testosterone were all associated with elevated metabolic risk factors. However, multiple regression analysis revealed that only abdominal localization of adipose tissue was independently associated with a higher risk profile, whereas the effects of sex hormones or total fatness disappeared when abdominal localization of adipose tissue was included in the analysis. In conclusion, these findings in premenopausal women indicate that the connection between sex hormones and metabolic risk factors might be indirect, probably operating through alterations in the amount of adipose tissue in the abdominal region.
SB Pedersen, University Clinic of Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, Aarthus, Amtssygehus, Tage Hansensgade, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark