Sex hormone-binding globulin and androgen levels in immigrant and British-born premenopausal British Pakistani women: Evidence of early life influences?
ABSTRACT In women, raised insulin levels are associated with low sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and high androgen levels, which are in turn linked to infertility. Since insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia are major health problems for South Asians living in Western countries, we predicted that British Pakistani women would have low SHBG and raised androgen levels compared to European women. Given low birth weights in Pakistan, and known links between low birth weight and insulin resistance in later life, we also predicted that immigrant women born in Pakistan would have lower levels of SHBG and higher levels of androgens than British-born British Pakistani women. We assessed SHBG, testosterone, and the free androgen index (FAI) from a single serum sample taken on days 9-11 of the menstrual cycle from 20-40-year-old women living in the UK: 30 immigrants from Pakistan, 30 British-born British Pakistani women, and 25 British-born women of European origin. Age-adjusted analyses showed no significant differences in SHBG, testosterone, or FAI between British-born Pakistani and European-origin women. However, immigrant British Pakistani women had a significantly higher FAI than British-born British Pakistani women. Adjustment for body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and smoking status did not affect these results, but further adjustment for height, a marker of early environment, reduced the P-value for the difference in FAI between immigrant and British-born British Pakistani women to below significance. It is possible that the poorer early environment of immigrant British Pakistani women was at least partially responsible for their relatively high levels of free androgens.
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Article: Evolutionary medicine.Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 10/1997; 90(9):525. · 2.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: There is a high prevalence of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes in people of South Asian origin living in affluent western countries. We do not know whether or how risk factors for these diseases change in subsequent generations born in the west. Findings that birth-weight is inversely associated with abdominal obesity and risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes in later life suggest that those born in the west may have lower levels of risk than migrants. We assessed 30 migrants from Pakistan to the UK, 30 British-born British Pakistani women, and 25 British-born women of European origin. British-born British Pakistani women were taller (P = 0.05), had a lower waist to hip ratio (P = 0.04), lower mean fasting glucose levels (P = 0.03), lower mean triglyceride levels (P = 0.03), and higher mean HDL levels (P < 0.001) than migrant British Pakistani women. Levels of fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, and blood pressure were not significantly different in the two British Pakistani groups. Thus, we found healthier levels of several cardiovascular and Type 2 diabetes risk factors in British-born British Pakistani women than in migrant British Pakistani women. These findings might be related to the effects of early environment or to other factors, such as differences in health behaviors. British-born British Pakistani women also differed from British-born European women, having a more adverse body composition, but healthier levels of HDL cholesterol and blood pressure.American Journal of Human Biology 09/2008; 20(5):545-9. DOI:10.1002/ajhb.20773 · 1.93 Impact Factor