Sex hormone binding globulin levels in adolescent subjects with diabetes mellitus

J M Holly, D B Dunger, S A al-Othman, M O Savage, J A Wass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In normal adolescents there is a pubertal fall in circulating levels of sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) in both sexes which is not explained by classically accepted mechanisms of control of SHBG. Recent in vitro and in vivo evidence has suggested that SHBG is inversely regulated by insulin. In view of this we have compared SHBG levels in 80 adolescent subjects with Type 1 diabetes to those in 61 normal adolescents. In both normals and in Type 1 diabetic subjects there was a pubertal fall in SHBG levels. Contrary to expectations, SHBG levels were not elevated in those with diabetes, but prepubertally were significantly lower in both sexes (boys mean +/- SD, 70 +/- 28 nmol l-1, normals 130 +/- 52 nmol l-1, p less than 0.001; girls, 61 +/- 17 nmol l-1, normals 110 +/- 23 nmol l-1, p = 0.01). In pubertal subjects no differences in SHBG levels were seen between the two groups, or between either sex within any group. In subjects with Type 1 diabetes SHBG levels were unrelated to metabolic control as reflected by HbA1 but were inversely related to pubertal stage (r = 0.55, p less than 0.001). In prepubertal subjects with diabetes, in whom abnormal SHBG levels were found, these levels were weakly related to insulin dose (r = 0.33, p less than 0.05); no such relationship was found in the other groups. The significance of the abnormal SHBG levels in prepubertal children with diabetes and its relationship to any irregularities of their sexual development is unclear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-4
Number of pages4
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Volume9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1992

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