Insulin sensitivity in relation to fat distribution and plasma adipocytokines among abusers of anabolic androgenic steroids

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Objective: Abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) is prevalent among young men, but information regarding effects on insulin sensitivity and fat distribution is limited. The objective was to investigate insulin sensitivity in relation to fat distribution and adipocytokines among current and former AAS abusers compared with controls. Design: Cross-sectional study among men involved in recreational strength training. Current and former AAS abusers (n=37 and n=33) and controls (n=30) volunteered from the community. Methods: We assessed insulin sensitivity by Matsuda index (oral glucose tolerance test). Using overnight fasting blood samples, adiponectin and leptin were measured. Body composition and fat distribution, including visceral adipose tissue (VAT), were assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Results: Current and former AAS abusers displayed lower Matsuda index than controls (%-difference (95%CI) from controls, −26% (−45; −1) and −39% (−55; −18)). Testosterone was markedly higher among current AAS abusers and subnormal among former AAS abusers compared with controls. Current AAS abusers displayed higher mean VAT than controls (388 (17) vs 293 (12) cm3, P<.001) whereas body fat %, adiponectin and leptin concentrations were lower. In contrast, former AAS abusers showed highest leptin concentrations and body fat %. Multivariate linear regressions identified VAT as independent predictor of lower Matsuda index among current AAS abusers compared with controls; while body fat % independently predicted lower Matsuda index among former AAS abusers. Conclusions: Both current and former AAS abusers displayed lower insulin sensitivity which could be mediated by higher VAT and total body fat %, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Endocrinology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)249-256
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

    Research areas

  • adipokines, androgens, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, intra-abdominal fat

ID: 189665921