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. et al. (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). Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 101(11), pp. 3939-3951. (doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-1669) (PMID:27552539) (PMCID:PMC5095233)

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Context: 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. Objective: To examine associations between Sal-T and health-related factors in men and women aged 18–74 years. Design & Setting: 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. Participants: 1,599 men; 2,123 women. Methods: Sal-T was measured using LC-MS/MS; linear regression was used to examine associations between health factors and mean Sal-T. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mitchell, Professor Kirstin and Wallace, Ms Angela
Authors: Clifton, S., Macdowall, W., Copas, A.J., Tanton, C., Keevil, B.G., Lee, D.M., Mitchell, K.R., Field, N., Sonnenberg, P., Bancroft, J., Mercer, C.H., Wallace, A.M., Johnson, A.M., Wellings, K., and Wu, F.C.W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Publisher:Endocrine Society
ISSN (Online):1945-7197
Published Online:23 August 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Endocrine Society
First Published:First published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 101(11):3939-3951
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU