Prospective inverse associations of sex hormone concentrations in men with biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress

J Androl. Sep-Oct 2012;33(5):944-50. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.111.015065. Epub 2011 Dec 29.


The suggested associations between sex hormone concentrations and inflammatory biomarkers in men originate from cross-sectional studies and small-scale clinical trials. But prior studies have not investigated longitudinal associations. Overall, 1344 men aged 20-79 years from the population-based cohort Study of Health in Pomerania were followed up for 5.0 (median) years. We used multivariable regression models to analyze cross-sectional and longitudinal associations of serum sex hormone concentrations (total testosterone [TT], sex hormone-binding globulin [SHBG], calculated free testosterone [free T], and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate [DHEAS]) with biomarkers of inflammation (fibrinogen, high-sensitive C-reactive protein [hsCRP], and white blood cell count [WBC]) and oxidative stress (γ-glutamyl transferase [GGT]) using ordinary least square regression and generalized estimating equation models, respectively. Cross-sectional models revealed borderline associations of sex hormone concentrations with hsCRP, WBC, and GGT levels that were not retained after multivariable adjustment. Longitudinal multivariable analyses revealed an inverse association of baseline TT, free T, and DHEAS concentrations with change in fibrinogen levels (per SD decrement in TT, 0.25 [95% confidence interval, 0.04-0.45]; in free T, 0.30 [0.09-0.51]; and in DHEAS, 0.23 [0.11-0.36]). Furthermore, baseline DHEAS concentrations were inversely associated with change in WBC levels (per SD decrement, 0.53 [0.24-0.82]). Baseline TT, SHBG, free T, and DHEAS concentrations were also inversely associated with change in GGT after multivariable adjustment. The present study is the first to demonstrate prospective inverse associations between sex hormone concentrations and markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in men. Additional studies are warranted to elucidate potential mechanisms underlying the revealed associations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate / blood
  • Fibrinogen / analysis
  • Germany
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / blood*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Young Adult
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood


  • Biomarkers
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Fibrinogen
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase