The objective of this study was to investigate whether there is a bidirectional association between testosterone concentrations and insulin resistance, in a prospective population study. A random population sample of 1400 men, aged 30–74, was examined in 2002–2005 in southwestern Sweden and followed up in 2012–2014 (N = 657). After excluding subjects without information on sex hormones and insulin resistance, 1282 men were included in the baseline study. Fasting measurements of plasma glucose, insulin and hormones were performed. Insulin resistance was defined using HOMA-Ir. Mean age at baseline was 47.3 ± 11.4 years. From the follow-up survey 546 men were included, mean age 57.7 ± 11.6 years. Low concentrations of total testosterone at baseline were significantly associated with high logHOMA-Ir at follow-up in a multivariable model including age, waist–hip ratio, physical activity, alcohol intake, smoking, LDL, CRP, hypertension, diabetes and logHOMA-Ir at baseline as covariates (β = −0.096, P = 0.006). Similar results were observed for bioavailable testosterone. Men within the lowest quartile of total testosterone at baseline had significantly higher logHOMA-Ir at follow-up than other quartiles (Q1 vs Q2 P = 0.008, Q1 vs Q3 P = 0.001, Q1 vs Q4 P = 0.052). Multivariable analysis of the impact of insulin resistance at baseline on testosterone levels at follow-up revealed no significant associations regarding testosterone concentrations (β = −0.003, P = 0.928) or bioavailable testosterone (β = −0.006, P = 0.873), when adjusting for baseline concentrations of total testosterone, age, waist–hip-ratio, LDL, CRP, physical activity, alcohol intake, smoking, hypertension and diabetes. Low testosterone concentrations at baseline predicted higher insulin resistance at follow-up, but high insulin resistance at baseline could not predict low testosterone at follow-up.
Kristin Ottarsdottir, Anna G Nilsson, Margareta Hellgren, Ulf Lindblad and Bledar Daka
Bledar Daka, Thord Rosen, Per Anders Jansson, Lennart Råstam, Charlotte A Larsson and Ulf Lindblad
Obesity is associated with low levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). While the reason is not fully understood, we aimed to study the association between serum insulin and levels of SHBG in a random population.
Design and methods
Between 2001 and 2005, a random sample of 2816 participants aged 30–74 years were enrolled in a cross-sectional survey in the South-west of Sweden. Fasting blood samples were collected and an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was conducted in all subjects without known diabetes. Diabetes mellitus was defined according to criteria from WHO, and clinical characteristics were used to discriminate between type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Analyses of SHBG were successful in 2782 participants (98%), who thus constituted the current study population.
We found significant inverse association between levels of SHBG and fasting serum insulin in both genders (men: β=−0.090, P=0.001; women: β=−0.197, P<0.001), which was independent of differences in age and BMI. The associations remained when also differences in fasting plasma glucose were accounted for (men: β=−0.062, P=0.022; women: β=−0.176, P≤0.001). Subjects with T1D exhibited higher levels of SHBG than both T2D (men: δ=15.9 nmol/l, P<0.001; women: δ=71.1 nmol/l, P<0.001) and non-diabetic subjects (men: δ=15.1 nmol/l, P<0.001; women: δ=72.9 nmol/l, P<0.001) independent of age, BMI and fasting glucose levels.
These findings are consistent with high levels of SHBG in T1D, and correspondingly low levels in T2D subjects, suggesting an inhibitory effect of insulin on the SHBG production in the liver.