Relationship of sex hormones to lipids and lipoproteins in nondiabetic men

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Dec;77(6):1610-5. doi: 10.1210/jcem.77.6.8263149.


Although many studies show that increased androgenicity is associated with increased triglyceride (TG) and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol in both pre- and postmenopausal women, relatively few data are available on the association of sex hormones to lipids and lipoproteins in men. We examined the association of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), total and free testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-SO4), and estradiol with lipids and lipoproteins in 178 nondiabetic men from the San Antonio Heart Study, a population-based study of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The TG concentration was significantly inversely related to SHBG (r = -0.22), free testosterone (r = -0.15), total testosterone (r = -0.22), and DHEA-SO4 (r = -0.16). High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was significantly positively correlated to SHBG (r = 0.21), free testosterone (r = 0.15), total testosterone (r = 0.17), and DHEA-SO4 (r = 0.16). Total testosterone was significantly related to total cholesterol (r = -0.17) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (r = -0.15). After adjustment for age, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, and glucose and insulin concentrations, TG concentrations remained significantly related to SHBG (r = -0.20), free testosterone (r = -0.15), and DHEA-SO4 (r = -0.18), and HDL cholesterol remained significantly associated with SHBG (r = 0.17), free testosterone (r = 0.15), total testosterone (r = 0.14), and DHEA-SO4 (r = 0.16). In conclusion, we observed a less atherogenic lipid and lipoprotein profile with increased testosterone concentrations. This was not explained by differences in glucose or insulin concentrations. However, sex hormones explained only a small percentage of the variation in total TG and HDL cholesterol concentrations. These findings are in striking contrast to data from women, in whom increased androgenicity is strongly associated with increased TG and decreased HDL cholesterol levels.

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
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Lipids / blood*
  • Lipoproteins / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Gonadal Steroid Hormones
  • Insulin
  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Triglycerides