Decreased testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentrations are associated with increased insulin and glucose concentrations in nondiabetic men

Metabolism. 1994 May;43(5):599-603. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(94)90202-x.


Although many studies indicate that increased androgenicity is associated with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, relatively few data are available on this relationship in men. We examined the association of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), total and free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-SO4), and estradiol to glucose and insulin concentrations before and during an oral glucose tolerance test in 178 men from the San Antonio Heart Study, a population-based study of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Total and free testosterone and DHEA-SO4 were significantly inversely associated with insulin concentrations. Free testosterone and DHEA-SO4 were also significantly inversely correlated with glucose concentrations. SHBG was weakly positively associated with glucose concentrations. Estradiol was not related to glucose or insulin concentrations. After adjustment for age, obesity, and body fat distribution, insulin concentrations remained significantly inversely correlated with free testosterone (r = -.23), total testosterone (r = -.21), and DHEA-SO4 (r = -.21; all P < .01). In conclusion, we observed that increased testosterone and DHEA-SO4 are associated with lower insulin concentrations in men. This is in striking contrast to women, where increased androgenicity is associated with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / blood
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Glucose / analysis*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone / blood
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Reference Values
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis
  • Testosterone / blood*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Testosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate