Sex hormones and the changes in adolescent male lipids: longitudinal studies in a biracial cohort

J Pediatr. 2003 Jun;142(6):637-42. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2003.246.


Objective: To determine the role of increasing free testosterone and estradiol in pubertal changes in male lipids.

Methods: We conducted a 3-year, longitudinal, observation study with biannual visits of 251 black and 285 white boys who were 10 to 15 years of age at enrollment. Sex hormones, lipid parameters, and body composition measures were obtained according to a standard protocol. The body mass index (kg/m(2)) was used to characterize obesity.

Results: White boys had higher triglycerides, lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), lower apolipoprotein (apo)AI, and higher apoB than black boys. In boys of both races, increased body mass index was associated with increases in triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apoB and decreases in HDL-C and apoAII. Within this framework, increased free testosterone was associated with increased apoB and decreased HDL-C and apoAI, whereas increased estradiol was associated with increased HDL-C and decreased triglycerides, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and apoB.

Conclusion: Changes in sex steroid hormones have significant effects on changes in lipid parameters-increasing free testosterone levels has atherogenic effects and increasing estradiol has antiatherogenic effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / blood
  • Apolipoprotein A-II / blood
  • Apolipoproteins B / blood
  • Body Composition
  • Child
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Estradiol / blood*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Male
  • Puberty / blood*
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoprotein A-II
  • Apolipoproteins B
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Testosterone
  • Estradiol