Objective: To examine the association of endogenous sex hormones and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) with C-reactive protein (CRP) in Chinese men.
Design and participants: The study population comprised 1989 men at baseline recruitment of a population-based cohort in China. Participant information on risk factors was collected by a face-to-face interview and clinical examination. All subjects in the study were without taking any kind of medication for anti-inflammation purpose or treatment of hypogonadism and with CRP value less than 10 mg/l. Data were analysed using linear regression analyses.
Results: Higher levels of total testosterone (TT, β = -0.114, 95%CI, -0.162 to -0.065), free testosterone (β = -0.059, 95%CI, -0.106 to -0.012) and SHBG (β = -0.116, 95%CI, -0.169 to -0.063) were statistically significantly related to lower levels of CRP, after adjustment for age, waist circumference (WC), triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose, insulin, smoking status, hypertension, diabetes and family history of hypertension or diabetes. In the subgroup of men with body mass index ≥ 27.5 kg/m(2) or with metabolic syndrome, findings for TT and SHBG were more pronounced, whereas the associations of TT with CRP were attenuated and nonstatistically significant among subjects with WC ≥ 90 cm or with insulin resistance. No associations were observed between estradiol, luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and CRP.
Conclusions: We have confirmed the association of androgens with reduced inflammation as measured by CRP in Chinese men. This is independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors and is explained in part by markers of central obesity and insulin resistance, rather than metabolic syndrome.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.