Deakin University

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Growth and adrenarche: findings from the CATS observational study

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-24, 00:25 authored by A L Goddings, R M Viner, L Mundy, Helena RomaniukHelena Romaniuk, Charlotte MolesworthCharlotte Molesworth, J B Carlin, N B Allen, G C Patton
BackgroundThere is increasing evidence that patterns of pubertal maturation are associated with different patterns of health risk. This study aimed to explore the associations between anthropometric measures and salivary androgen concentrations in pre-adolescent children.MethodsWe analysed a stratified random sample (N=1151) of pupils aged 8–9 years old from 43 primary schools in Melbourne, Australia from the Childhood to Adolescence Transition Study. Saliva samples were assayed for dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), DHEA-sulfate and testosterone. Anthropometric measures included height, weight, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference. Associations between (1) anthropometric measures and each androgen, and (2) hormone status with obesity and parental report of pubertal development were investigated using linear regression modelling with general estimating equations.ResultsGreater height, weight, BMI and waist circumference were positively associated with higher androgen concentrations, after adjusting for sex and socioeconomic status. Being overweight or obese was associated with higher testosterone and DHEA concentrations compared with the normal BMI category. Those who were obese were more likely (OR=2.7, 95% CI 1.61 to 4.43, p<0.001) to be in the top tertile of age-adjusted androgen status in both sexes.ConclusionThis study provides clear evidence for an association between obesity and higher androgen levels in mid-childhood. The adrenal transition may be a critical time period for weight management intervention strategies in order to manage the risk for metabolic problems in later life for high-risk individuals.



Archives of Disease in Childhood




967 - 974


London, Eng.







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal