Effect of estrogen on serum DHEA in younger and older women and the relationship of DHEA to adiposity and gender Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • This case-controlled study consisted of 2 parts. The objective of part 1 was to determine the relationship between DHEA, body mass index (BMI), and age in young males, young females, and postmenopausal (PM) females. Part 2 examined the effects of estrogen on DHEA by analyzing the relationship between DHEA and age in young females on and off oral contraceptives (OCs) and PM females on and off estrogen or hormone replacement therapy (ERT/HRT). The study was performed at the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic, Texas Tech Health Sciences Center-Amarillo, Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Southeastern Louisiana University, and Woman's Health Research Institute, Woman's Hospital, Baton Rouge, LA. Part 1 groups consisted of: (1) young males between the ages of 18 to 40 years; (2) normally cycling females off OCs, ages 18 to 40 years; and (3) PM females older than 40 years not receiving ERT/HRT. Part 2 groups consisted of: (1) normally cycling females on OCs, ages 18 to 40 years;, (2) normally cycling females off OCs, ages 18 to 40 years; (3) PM females 50 years or older not receiving ERT/HRT; and (4) PM females 50 years or older receiving ERT/HRT. The main outcome measure was serum DHEA concentrations. For part 1, there were significant (P <.05) inverse relationships between DHEA and age for young males; young females, off OCs; PM females, no ERT/HRT r = -.44, -.26, and -.25, respectively. There were no significant relationships between DHEA and BMI for any of the groups. DHEA concentrations were significantly higher in young males than young females even after accounting for age. For part 2, DHEA concentrations were significantly higher in young females off OCs compared with young females on OCs, and significantly higher in PM women off ERT/HRT than those on ERTHRT. There were significant inverse relationships between DHEA and age for young females and PM females on and off ERT/HRT. From these findings, we conclude that there is an inverse relationship between DHEA and age for young males, young females off OCs, and PM females, no ERT/HRT. No relationship between BMI and DHEA was observed in these same 3 groups. These results agree with previous findings in young men, but differ from previous findings in obese young females. The data also suggest that estrogen treatment (OCs and ERT/HRT) suppresses DHEA concentrations in premenopausal and PM females, and that DHEA declines with age in PM females regardless of estrogen treatment.

author list (cited authors)

  • Kraemer, R. R., Synovitz, L. B., Gimpel, T., Kraemer, G. R., Johnson, L. G., & Castracane, V. D.

citation count

  • 25

publication date

  • April 2001