Serum androgen concentrations and subclinical measures of cardiovascular disease in men and women

Hanna Kische, Stefan Gross, Henri Wallaschofski, Henry Völzke, Marcus Dörr, Matthias Nauck, Stephan B. Felix, Robin Haring

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Most of the observed associations of androgens and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) with subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD) stem from selected study samples with immunoassay-based hormone measurements. Thus, we used a large population-based sample with total testosterone (TT) and androstenedione (ASD) concentrations measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Design: Data of 2140 individuals (mean age: 60,8 years) from the cohort Study of Health in Pomerania were assessed at baseline and 5-year follow-up. Methods: Multivariable regression models were implemented to assess cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of TT, free testosterone (fT), ASD, SHBG and dehydroepiandrosterone-sulphate (DHEAS) with measures of subclinical CVD including intima media thickness (IMT), carotid plaques, left ventricular mass (LVM), fractional shortening (FS), relative wall thickness (RWT), and left ventricular geometry. Results: Cross-sectional analyses yielded an association of TT with IMT in women (β-coefficient per log unit increase: 0.02; 95% CI: 0.007; 0.45) and ASD with FS in both sexes (men: β-coefficient: -2.94; 95% CI: -4.75; -1.12; women: β-coefficient: 1.64; 95% CI: 0.55; 2.73). In longitudinal analyses, DHEAS was positively associated with FS change (β-coefficient: 2.34; 95% CI: -0.59; 4.08). In women, SHBG was positively associated with incident plaques (Q1 vs. Q3 (Ref.): β-coefficient: 1.35; 95% CI: 1.04; 1.74). In both sexes, longitudinal analyses showed no consistent association of TT with subclinical CVD. Conclusions: Despite several sex-specific associations of androgens and SHBG with subclinical CVD, the present representative study for the age group ≥45 years among men and women from the general population detected no consistent associations in longitudinal analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgens
  • Epidemiology
  • Sex hormone-binding globulin
  • Subclinical cardiovascular disease

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