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Testicular function and bone in young men with severe childhood-onset obesity.


Richard Ivell

Saila Laakso

Heli Viljakainen

Marita Lipsanen-Nyman

Ursula Turpeinen

Kaisa K Ivaska



Background: Previous studies suggest increased risk for hypoandrogenism and fractures in men with obesity. We aimed to describe the effects of severe childhood-onset obesity on the cross talk between metabolic state, testes and skeleton at late puberty.
Methods: A cohort of adolescent and young adult males with severe childhood-onset obesity (n=21, mean age 18.5 yrs) and an age-matched control group were assessed for testicular hormones and DXA-derived bone mass.
Results: Current median body mass indexes for the obese and control subjects were 37.4 kg/m2 and 22.9 kg/m2. Severe early-onset obesity manifested with lower free testosterone [median (inter-quartile range) 244 (194–332) vs. 403 (293–463) pmol/l, P=0.002]. Lower insulin-like 3 [1.02 (0.82–1.23) vs. 1.22 (1.01–1.46) ng/mL, P=0.045] and lower ratio of testosterone to LH [2.81 (1.96 – 3.98) vs. 4.10 (3.03 – 5.83) nM/IU, P=0.008] suggested disrupted Leydig cell function. Degree of current obesity correlated inversely with free testosterone (τ=-0.516, P=0.003), which in turn correlated positively with bone area at all measurement sites in males with childhood-onset obesity.
Conclusions: Severe childhood-onset obesity associates with impaired Leydig cell function in young men and lower free testosterone may contribute to impaired bone growth.


Anand-Ivell, R., Ivell, R., Laakso, S., Viljakainen, H., Lipsanen-Nyman, M., Turpeinen, U., …Mäkitie, O. (2018). Testicular function and bone in young men with severe childhood-onset obesity. Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 89(6), 442–449.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 29, 2018
Publication Date Aug 1, 2018
Deposit Date May 1, 2018
Journal Hormone Research in Paediatrics
Print ISSN 1663-2818
Electronic ISSN 1663-2826
Publisher Karger Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 89
Issue 6
Pages 442–449
Keywords Boys, metabolism, sex hormones, puberty, testosterone, INSL3
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