Cross-Sectional, Primary Care-Based Study of the Prevalence of Hypoandrogenemia in Nondiabetic Young Men with Obesity

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2019 Oct;27(10):1584-1590. doi: 10.1002/oby.22579. Epub 2019 Aug 14.


Objective: Obesity-associated hypoandrogenemia is increasing in parallel to the obesity epidemic. The prevalence of hypoandrogenemia in nondiabetic young men with obesity is not known. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of hypoandrogenemia and associated risk factors in this population.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 266 nondiabetic men < 50 years of age with obesity who were referred from primary care. Total testosterone (high-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry), sex hormone-binding globulin, free testosterone (FT), luteinizing hormone (LH), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance were determined. Body composition and erectile function were also assessed. Hypoandrogenemia was defined as FT level < 70 pg/mL.

Results: Subnormal FT concentrations were found in 25.6% of participants. Hypoandrogenemia prevalence was different along the BMI continuum, being > 75% in individuals with BMI ≥ 50 kg/m2 . A multivariate regression analysis indicated that increasing BMI (P < 0.001), age (P = 0.049), and reduced LH levels (P = 0.003) were independent risk factors for hypoandrogenemia.

Conclusions: In a primary care-based cohort of nondiabetic young men with obesity, hypoandrogenemia was a very prevalent finding and was directly associated with adiposity. Obesity, age, and reduced LH levels were independent risk factors associated with hypoandrogenemia. Further prospective studies are needed to evaluate the long-term consequences of hypoandrogenemia in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Erectile Dysfunction / blood
  • Erectile Dysfunction / complications
  • Erectile Dysfunction / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / blood
  • Hypogonadism / complications
  • Hypogonadism / epidemiology*
  • Luteinizing Hormone / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Testosterone / blood


  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Testosterone
  • Luteinizing Hormone