Plasma testosterone levels are positively associated with superficial and deep fat depositions in the thigh in postmenopausal women, as well as with superficial abdominal adipose tissue and overall body adiposity, according to study results published in Clinical Endocrinology.
Although an inverse relationship between testosterone and adiposity has been established in males, the relationship in females is unclear and studies have presented conflicting findings. In the current study, researchers attempted to clarify the association between body fat distribution and plasma testosterone levels in a cohort of 35 healthy postmenopausal women (ages 61 to 76 years). Overall body composition, abdominal and thigh fat depots, and circulating testosterone concentrations were measured.
Results showed that testosterone levels were positively associated with clinical proxy measures of adiposity including weight (P =.39), body mass index (P =.43), and waist circumference (P =.39; all P <.05). In addition, both fat mass and percent body fat were correlated with testosterone levels (P =.42 and P =.38, respectively; both P <.05). Testosterone levels correlated with overall (P =.34) and superficial abdominal fat (P =.37; both P <.05), but no associations were observed with visceral adipose tissue. Finally, testosterone was associated with greater amounts of thigh fat (P =.49, P <.05).
“Our findings emphasize the clear gender differences with opposing relationships between androgens and adiposity,” the researchers concluded.
Ofori EK, Conde Alonso S, Correas-Gomez L, et al. Thigh and abdominal adipose tissue depot associations with testosterone levels in postmenopausal females [published online December 21, 2018]. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). doi:10.1111/cen.13921