Low Testosterone Levels Linked to Weight Loss
April 9, 2003
Low testosterone levels may be linked to weight loss in HIV-positive women, according to Massachusetts General Hospital researchers. To elucidate the risk factors for hypoandrogenemia among these low-weight patients, J.S. Huang and colleagues compared testosterone levels of 69 HIV-infected women with levels from 25 healthy, age and body mass index-matched control subjects.
"HIV-infected subjects were of low weight, with a mean (+/- standard deviation) weight loss of -17.6 percent +/- 9.7 percent from pre-illness maximum, and 42 percent of HIV-infected subjects had a body mass index of <20 kg/m2," the study authors said. "Forty-nine percent of the HIV-infected population versus 8 percent of the control population exhibited low free testosterone levels (P<0.001)."
"Among HIV-infected women, when we controlled for chronic hepatitis status, age, and time of blood sampling, weight loss of greater than 10 percent of maximum weight was a significant predictor of low free testosterone levels," according to the report. "Free testosterone levels did not differ by drug class or antiretroviral regimen."
Researchers concluded that "decreased androgen levels are common among HIV-infected women reporting significant weight loss, independent of exposure to antiretroviral medications." The full report, "Reduced Testosterone Levels in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Infected Women with Weight Loss and Low Weight," was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases (2003;36(4):499-506).
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.