Obese Girls in Early Puberty At Risk for High Androgen Levels
Obesity and Puberty
Obese girls in the early stages of puberty are at risk for having high levels of androgens (sometimes called "male hormones"), a condition that may lead to health problems later, write a team of researchers from the University of Virginia Health System. Dr. Christopher McCartney and colleagues, writing in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that free testosterone (T) was three times higher in obese girls than in normal-weight girls. These findings were especially prominent in the group of obese early pubertal (Tanner stage 1-3) girls, who had a mean free T that was 5 times as great as the group of normal-weight early pubertal girls. The obese group also demonstrated elevated fasting insulin compared with normal-weight girls, the researchers noted.
The study of 76 girls included 41 obese children, and an extension of this research involving 98 girls will be presented at the ENDO 2006 meeting in Boston on Sunday, June 25.