Changes over 14 Years in Androgenicity and Body Mass Index in a Biracial Cohort of Reproductive-Age Women

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Abstract

Background:

Body mass index (BMI) is directly related to testosterone (total T and free T) and inversely to SHBG cross-sectionally, but little is known about how changes in body fat and androgen markers affect each other over time.

Methods:

Participants included 969 White and Black women from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort, who were ages 18-30 at entry into the study and were pre- or perimenopausal 16 yr later at the time of the CARDIA Women’s Study (CWS). Total T and SHBG were assayed from specimens drawn at the CWS examination and stored serum from the yr 2 and 10 CARDIA exams. Free T was calculated based on total T and SHBG. BMI and waist circumference were measured at yr 2, 10, and 16.

Results:

Despite clinically significant increases in BMI and waist circumference, total T and free T tended to decline, whereas SHBG remained relatively constant. BMI and waist circumference were directly correlated with free T and inversely correlated with SHBG in cross-sectional analyses. In longitudinal, multivariable analyses, an annualized increase in BMI was inversely related to a concurrent annualized decrease in SHBG (β = −0.79 ng/dl, and se = 0.22 in Blacks; β = −1.07 ng/dl; and se = 0.31 in Whites). However, early increases in BMI were not related to later decreases in SHBG.

Conclusion:

Increases in adiposity are closely tied to decreases in SHBG, but changes in BMI and SHBG may occur concurrently rather than sequentially.

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