Androgens and glucuronidated androgen metabolites are associated with metabolic risk factors in men

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Context: Androgens are associated with metabolic risk factors in men. However, the independent impact of androgens and androgen metabolites on metabolic risk factors in men is unclear. Objective: Our objective was to determine the predictive value of serum levels of androgens and glucuronidated androgen metabolites for metabolic risk factors. Design and Study Subjects: We conducted a population-based study of two Swedish cohorts (1068 young adult and 1001 elderly men). Main Outcome Measures: We measured correlation of serum dihydrotestosterone (DHT), testosterone (T), and glucuronidated androgen metabolites with fat mass, fat distribution, serum lipids, and insulin resistance. Results: Both DHT and T were negatively associated with different measures of fat mass in both cohorts (P < 0.001). Further statistical analysis indicated that DHT, but not T, was independently negatively associated with different measures of fat mass and insulin resistance (P < 0.001). The glucuronidated androgen metabolite androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol-17glucuronide (17G) was independently positively associated with fat mass (P < 0.001). Most importantly, the 17G to DHT ratio was strongly correlated, not only with fat mass but also with central fat distribution, intrahepatic fat, disturbed lipid profile, insulin resistance, and diabetes, explaining a substantial part of the total variance in total body fat (12% in young adult men, 15% in elderly men), the homeostasis model assessment index (10%), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (7%). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that 17-glucuronidation of the DHT metabolite androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol is strongly associated with several metabolic risk factors in men. Future longitudinal studies are required to determine the possible impact of the 17G to DHT ratio as a metabolic risk factor in men.


  • Liesbeth Vandenput
  • Dan Mellstrom
  • Mattias Lorentzon
  • Charlotte Swanson
  • Magnus Karlsson
  • John Brandberg
  • Lars Lonn
  • Eric Orwoll
  • Ulf Smith
  • Fernand Labrie
  • Osten Ljunggren
  • Asa Tivesten
  • Claes Ohlsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4130-4137
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch