Male obesity is often associated with reduced levels of circulating total (TT) and calculated free testosterone (cFT), with normal/reduced gonadotropins. Bariatric surgery often improves sex steroid and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of bariatric surgery on waist circumference (WC) and BMI, and on TT levels, in morbidly obese men, stratified, according to the gonadal state, in eugonadal and hypogonadal (TT<8 nmol/l) subjects.
A cohort of morbidly obese patients (29 with hypogonadism (HG) and 26 without) undergoing bariatric surgery (37, 10, 6, and 2, with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding, biliopancreatic diversion and gastric sleeve, respectively) was studied at 6 and 12 months from the operation.
Anthropometric parameters (weight, BMI, WC) and sex hormones (gonadotropins, TT, cFT, estradiol (E2), SHBG) were assessed.
WC was the only parameter significantly correlated with androgens, but not with E2, SHBG, and gonadotropins, at baseline. After surgery, a significant increase in TT, cFT, and SHBG, accompanied by a decrease in E2, was evident in the two groups. However, both TT and cFT, but not E2, SHBG, and gonadotropin variations, were significantly higher in the hypogonadal group at follow-up, with an overall 93% complete recovery from HG. Reduction in WC, but not BMI, was significantly greater in hypogonadal men (ΔWC=−29.4±21.6 vs −14.4±17.4 at 12 months, P=0.047).
Recovery from obesity-associated HG is one of the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery in morbidly obese men. The present findings suggest that the gonadal state is a predictor of WC decrease after bariatric surgery.