Background: A 10-question screening questionnaire for androgen deficiency in aging men (ADAM) was reported in previous white but not Chinese populations. We therefore investigated the validity of a Chinese version of the Saint Louis University ADAM questionnaire to screen for androgen deficiency in Chinese men.
Methods: This was a cross-sectional study. Seven hundred ninety-six ambulatory community-based Chinese men, 18-89 years old, were recruited from October 2003 through June 2006. Self-administered Chinese ADAM questionnaire and morning blood samples for serum total testosterone (TT) and bioavailable testosterone (BT) levels were collected from all participants. Low serum BT levels (androgen deficiency) were defined as <5th percentile of serum BT levels in young healthy Chinese men (18-29 years).
Results: The Chinese ADAM questionnaire had good internal consistency (Cronbach alpha = 0.74) and test-retest reliability (Pearson correlation coefficient, r = 0.86; p <.001, two-tailed). As a screening test for low serum BT levels, the Chinese ADAM questionnaire has a high sensitivity of 88% but low specificity of 32%. In 6 of the 10 questions, the mean serum BT levels were significantly lower in those who answered positively than in those who answered negatively. Using a cut-off score of > or =2, a six-question short Chinese ADAM questionnaire demonstrated sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 86%, 40%, 46%, and 82%, respectively.
Conclusion: We have validated a full Chinese version and developed a shortened version of the ADAM questionnaire, and demonstrated that they are sensitive but not specific screening tests for androgen deficiency in Chinese men.