Salivary testosterone levels and health status in men and women in the British general population: findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3).


Clifton, S; Macdowall, W; Copas, AJ; Tanton, C; Keevil, BG; Lee, DM; Mitchell, KR; Field, N; Sonnenberg, P; Bancroft, J; Mercer, CH; Wallace, AM; Johnson, AM; Wellings, K; Wu, F; (2016) Salivary testosterone levels and health status in men and women in the British general population: findings from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3). The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism. jc20161669. ISSN 0021-972X DOI: https://doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-1669

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Abstract

Salivary testosterone (Sal-T) measurement by LC-MS/MS resents the opportunity to examine health correlates of Sal-T in a large-scale population survey. To examine associations between Sal-T and health-related factors in men and women aged 18-74 years. Morning saliva samples were obtained from participants in a cross-sectional probability-sample survey of the general British population ('Natsal-3'). Self-reported health and lifestyle questions were administered as part of a wider sexual health interview. 1,599 men; 2,123 women. Sal-T was measured using LC-MS/MS; linear regression was used to examine associations between health factors and mean Sal-T. In men, mean Sal-T was associated with a range of health factors after age-adjustment, showing a strong independent negative association with BMI. Men reporting cardiovascular disease or currently taking medication for depression had lower age-adjusted Sal-T, although there was no association with cardiovascular disease after adjustment for BMI. The decline in Sal-T with increasing age remained after adjustment for health-related factors. In women, Sal-T declined with increasing age, however there were no age-independent associations with health-related factors or specific heath conditions, with the exception of higher Sal-T in smokers. Sal-T levels were associated, independently of age, with a range of self-reported health markers, particularly BMI, in men but not women. The findings support the view that there is an age-related decline in Sal-T in men and women, which cannot be explained by an increase in ill-health. Our results demonstrate the potential of Sal-T as a convenient measure of tissue androgen exposure for population research.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
PubMed ID: 27552539
Web of Science ID: 390948600008
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2811846

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