Steroids in adult men with type 1 diabetes: A tendency to hypogonadism

Eveline W.C.M. Van Dam, Jacqueline M. Dekker, Eef G.W.M. Lentjes, Fred P.T.H.M. Romijn, Yvo M. Smulders, Wendy J. Post, Johannes A. Romijn, H. Michiel J. Krans

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OBJECTIVE - To compare steroids and their associations in men with type 1 diabetes and healthy control subjects. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We studied 52 adult men with type 1 diabetes without microvascular complications, compared with 53 control subjects matched for age and BMI. Steroids and their binding globulins were assessed in a single venous blood sample and a 24-h urine sample. RESULTS - In adult men with type 1 diabetes, total testosterone did not differ from healthy control subjects, but sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) (42 [14-83] vs. 26 [9-117] nmol/l, P < 0.001), cortisol-binding globulin (CBG; 0.87 ± 0.17 vs. 0.73 ± 0.10 nmol/l, P < 0.001), and cortisol levels (0.46 ± 0.16 vs. 0.39 ± 0.14 nmol/l, P < 0.01) were higher. The free testosterone index was lower (60 [17-139] vs. 82 [24-200], P < 0.001), and the calculated free testosterone was slightly lower (497 [115] vs. 542 [130], P < 0.064), but the pituitary-gonadal axis was not obviously affected in type 1 diabetes. The calculated free serum cortisol was not different, and 24-h urinary free cortisol excretion was lower in type 1 diabetes (121 [42-365] vs. 161 [55-284] nmol/24 h, P < 0.009). Testosterone was mainly associated with SHBG. Estimated portal insulin was a contributer to SHBG in control subjects but not in type 1 diabetes. Cortisol was associated with CBG. HbA1c contributed to CBG in men with diabetes but not in control subjects, whereas estimated portal insulin did not contribute. CONCLUSIONS - Adult men with fairly controlled type 1 diabetes without complications who are treated with subcutaneous insulin have a tendency to hypogonadism, as reflected by lower free testosterone levels in the presence of similar total testosterone levels and higher SHBG levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1812-1818
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes Care
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003

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