Relationship of body fat percentage and fat distribution with dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in premenopausal females

Daniel P. Williams, Thomas W. Boyden, Richard W. Pamenter, Timothy G. Lohman, Scott B. Going

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations


Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) has an antiobesity effect in rodents, and elevated endogenous levels of its sulfate ester (DHEAS) are associated with reductions in risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in men. To examine the association of body fat and fat distribution, established correlates of CVD and CVD risk factors, with circulating DHEAS levels in women, we measured trunk and limb skinfold thicknesses and circumferences, total and regional body fat from dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and serum levels of DHEAS in 96 healthy Caucasian females aged 28-39 yr. Body mass index, percentage fat from DXA and the waist-to-hip ratio were not significantly correlated (r < or = 0.15, P > or = 0.156) with serum DHEAS levels, regardless of statistical control for age, smoking behavior, and fasting status. However, the ratio of trunk/total skinfold thicknesses (r = 0.23, P = 0.030) and the percentage of total fat located on the trunk from DXA (R ≤ 0.32, R ≥ 0.002) were positively correlated with DHEAS, whereas the ratio of leg/total skinfold thicknesses (R ≤ -0.25, R ≥ 0.015) and the percentage of total fat located on the legs from DXA (R ≤ -0.25, R ≥ 0.015) were inversely correlated with DHEAS after adjusting for age, smoking, and fasting status. With the exception of the trunk/total skinfold thickness ratio, the correlations of DXA- and skinfold-derived estimates of fat distribution remained significant (P < oR ≤ 0.033) even after further adjustment for percentage fat or body mass index. It is concluded that increased amounts of total fat located on the trunk and decreased amounts of total fat located on the legs are associated with increased serum DHEAS concentrations in normally menstruating females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-85
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1993


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

Cite this