Sex hormones and quantitative ultrasound parameters at the heel in men and women from the general population

Konrad Pätzug, Nele Friedrich, Hanna Kische, Anke Hannemann, Henry Völzke, Matthias Nauck, Brian G. Keevil, Robin Haring

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Purpose/introduction The present study investigates potential associations between liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) measured sex hormones, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and bone ultrasound parameters at the heel in men and women from the general population. Methods Data from 502 women and 425 men from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP-TREND) were used. Cross-sectional associations of sex hormones including testosterone (TT), calculated free testosterone (FT), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), androstenedione (ASD), estrone (E1) and SHBG with quantitative ultrasound (QUS) parameters at the heel, including broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA), speed of sound (SOS) and stiffness index (SI) were examined by analysis of variance (ANOVA) and multivariable quantile regression models. Results Multivariable regression analysis showed a sex-specific inverse association of DHEAS with SI in men (Beta per SI unit = − 3.08, standard error (SE) = 0.88), but not in women (Beta = − 0.01, SE = 2.09). Furthermore, FT was positively associated with BUA in men (Beta per BUA unit = 29.0, SE = 10.1). None of the other sex hormones (ASD, E1) or SHBG was associated with QUS parameters after multivariable adjustment. Conclusions This cross-sectional population-based study revealed independent associations of DHEAS and FT with QUS parameters in men, suggesting a potential influence on male bone metabolism. The predictive role of DHEAS and FT as a marker for osteoporosis in men warrants further investigation in clinical trials and large-scale observational studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-56
Number of pages6
JournalBone Reports
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Bone
  • Sex hormones
  • Stiffness index

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