Pubertal muscle mass and diabetes markers in Chinese adolescents

Am J Hum Biol. Mar-Apr 2012;24(2):183-5. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.22210. Epub 2012 Jan 27.


Objectives: Diabetes is common in China despite a relatively nonobese population. We hypothesized that testosterone driven muscle mass acquisition at puberty may be relevant. We examined the associations of testosterone with muscle mass and of muscle mass with fasting glucose in Chinese adolescents.

Methods: In 40 adolescents (20 boys and 20 girls, age 12.9 ± 0.1 years) from Hong Kong's "Children of 1997" birth cohort, we used multivariable linear regression to assess adjusted associations of testosterone and fasting glucose (from a morning blood sample) with muscle and fat mass from a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan.

Results: Testosterone was positively associated with muscle mass (0.05 kg, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01 to 0.09, per pg/ml testosterone). Muscle mass was associated with lower glucose (-0.04 mmol/l, 95% CI -0.08 to -0.01 per kg muscle mass) adjusted for sex and fat mass.

Conclusions: Environmentally driven muscle mass acquisition at puberty could influence diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adolescent
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Puberty / physiology*
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Testosterone