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D Kapoor and T H Jones

Smoking has multiple effects on hormone secretion, some of which are associated with important clinical implications. These effects are mainly mediated by the pharmacological action of nicotine and also by toxins such as thiocyanate. Smoking affects pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, testicular and ovarian function, calcium metabolism and the action of insulin. The major salient clinical effects are the increased risk and severity of Graves’ hyperthyroidism and opthalmopathy, osteoporosis and reduced fertility. Smoking also contributes to the development of insulin resistance and hence type 2 diabetes mellitus. An important concern is also the effect of smoking on the foetus and young children. Passive transfer of thiocyanate can cause disturbance of thyroid size and function. Furthermore, maternal smoking causes increased catecholamine production, which may contribute to under perfusion of the foetoplacental unit.

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D Kapoor, E Goodwin, K S Channer and T H Jones

Objective: Low levels of testosterone in men have been shown to be associated with type 2 diabetes, visceral adiposity, dyslipidaemia and metabolic syndrome. We investigated the effect of testosterone treatment on insulin resistance and glycaemic control in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes.

Design: This was a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover study in 24 hypogonadal men (10 treated with insulin) over the age of 30 years with type 2 diabetes.

Methods: Patients were treated with i.m. testosterone 200 mg every 2 weeks or placebo for 3 months in random order, followed by a washout period of 1 month before the alternate treatment phase. The primary outcomes were changes in fasting insulin sensitivity (as measured by homeostatic model index (HOMA) in those not on insulin), fasting blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin. The secondary outcomes were changes in body composition, fasting lipids and blood pressure. Statistical analysis was performed on the delta values, with the treatment effect of placebo compared against the treatment effect of testosterone.

Results: Testosterone therapy reduced the HOMA index (−1.73 ± 0.67, P = 0.02, n = 14), indicating an improved fasting insulin sensitivity. Glycated haemoglobin was also reduced (−0.37 ± 0.17%, P = 0.03), as was the fasting blood glucose (−1.58 ± 0.68 mmol/l, P = 0.03). Testosterone treatment resulted in a reduction in visceral adiposity as assessed by waist circumference (−1.63 ± 0.71 cm, P = 0.03) and waist/hip ratio (−0.03 ± 0.01, P = 0.01). Total cholesterol decreased with testosterone therapy (−0.4 ± 0.17 mmol/l, P = 0.03) but no effect on blood pressure was observed.

Conclusions: Testosterone replacement therapy reduces insulin resistance and improves glycaemic control in hypogonadal men with type 2 diabetes. Improvements in glycaemic control, insulin resistance, cholesterol and visceral adiposity together represent an overall reduction in cardiovascular risk.

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R D Stanworth, D Kapoor, K S Channer and T H Jones


To determine the relationships between androgen receptor CAG repeat polymorphism length (AR CAG), sex hormones and clinical variables in men with type 2 diabetes (DM2). Men with DM2 are known to have a high prevalence of low testosterone levels. Studies suggest that testosterone replacement therapy may improve insulin sensitivity and glycaemic control in men with DM2 and reduces central obesity and serum leptin. AR CAG is known to correlate negatively with AR sensitivity and positively with body fat, insulin levels, and leptin in healthy men.


Cross-sectional study set in a district general hospital diabetes centre.


Sex hormones, AR CAG and symptoms of hypogonadism were assessed in 233 men with DM2. Associations were sought between these variables and others such as obesity, leptin, glycaemic control, and blood pressure.


Testosterone was negatively associated and AR CAG positively associated with obesity and leptin. The associations of AR CAG with leptin and obesity were independent of testosterone, estradiol, gonadotropins, and age. AR CAG was also independently associated with total, bioavailable and free testosterone, LH, waist circumference, body mass index, leptin, and systolic blood pressure. There was no association of AR CAG with sex hormone binding globulin, estradiol, HbA1C or the symptoms of hypogonadism.


The association of longer AR CAG with obesity and leptin suggests that shorter AR CAG may have an influence in maintaining healthy anthropomorphics and metabolism in men with DM2. Testosterone and LH levels are higher in men with longer AR CAG, probably reflecting reduced negative feedback through a less sensitive receptor.

Free access

D Kapoor, S Clarke, R Stanworth, K S Channer and T H Jones

Objective: Serum testosterone levels are known to inversely correlate with insulin sensitivity and obesity in men. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that testosterone replacement therapy reduces insulin resistance and visceral adiposity in type 2 diabetic men. Adipocytokines are hormones secreted by adipose tissue and contribute to insulin resistance. We examined the effects of testosterone replacement treatment on various adipocytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP) in type 2 diabetic men.

Design: Double-blinded placebo-controlled crossover study in 20 hypogonadal type 2 diabetic men. Patients were treated with testosterone (sustanon 200 mg) or placebo intramuscularly every 2 weeks for 3 months in random order followed by a washout period of 1 month before the alternate treatment phase.

Methods: Leptin, adiponectin, resistin, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-6 and CRP levels were measured before and after each treatment phase. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference were also recorded.

Results: At baseline, leptin levels significantly correlated with BMI and waist circumference. There was a significant inverse correlation between baseline IL-6 and total testosterone (r=−0.68; P=0.002) and bioavailable testosterone levels (r=−0.73; P=0.007). CRP levels also correlated significantly with total testosterone levels (r=−0.59; P=0.01). Testosterone treatment reduced leptin (−7141.9 ± 1461.8 pg/ml; P=0.0001) and adiponectin levels (−2075.8 ± 852.3 ng/ml; P=0.02). There was a significant reduction in waist circumference. No significant effects of testosterone therapy on resistin, TNF-α, IL-6 or CRP levels were observed.

Conclusion: Testosterone replacement treatment decreases leptin and adiponectin levels in type 2 diabetic men. Moreover, low levels of testosterone in men are associated with pro-inflammatory profile, though testosterone treatment over 3 months had no effect on inflammatory markers.

Open access

S E Flanagan, R R Kapoor, G Mali, D Cody, N Murphy, B Schwahn, T Siahanidou, I Banerjee, T Akcay, O Rubio-Cabezas, J P H Shield, K Hussain and S Ellard


The phenotype associated with heterozygous HNF4A gene mutations has recently been extended to include diazoxide responsive neonatal hypoglycemia in addition to maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY). To date, mutation screening has been limited to patients with a family history consistent with MODY. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of HNF4A mutations in a large cohort of patients with diazoxide responsive hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH).

Subjects and methods

We sequenced the ABCC8, KCNJ11, GCK, GLUD1, and/or HNF4A genes in 220 patients with HH responsive to diazoxide. The order of genetic testing was dependent upon the clinical phenotype.


A genetic diagnosis was possible for 59/220 (27%) patients. KATP channel mutations were most common (15%) followed by GLUD1 mutations causing hyperinsulinism with hyperammonemia (5.9%), and HNF4A mutations (5%). Seven of the 11 probands with a heterozygous HNF4A mutation did not have a parent affected with diabetes, and four de novo mutations were confirmed. These patients were diagnosed with HI within the first week of life (median age 1 day), and they had increased birth weight (median +2.4 SDS). The duration of diazoxide treatment ranged from 3 months to ongoing at 8 years.


In this large series, HNF4A mutations are the third most common cause of diazoxide responsive HH. We recommend that HNF4A sequencing is considered in all patients with diazoxide responsive HH diagnosed in the first week of life irrespective of a family history of diabetes, once KATP channel mutations have been excluded.