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Volume 11, Issue 2 (March 2009) 11, 222–228; 10.1038/aja.2008.7

Androgen receptor gene polymorphism and sex hormones in elderly men: the Tromsø study

Paal André Skjærpe1,2, Yvonne L Giwercman2, Aleksander Giwercman2 and Johan Svartberg1,3

1 Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø 9037, Norway
2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Molecular Reproductive Medicine Research Unit, Lund University, Malmö University Hospital, Malmö 20502, Sweden
3 Department of Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø 9038, Norway

Correspondence: Prof. Johan Svartberg, Department of Medicine, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø 9038, Norway. Fax: +47-7762-6863 E-mail: johan.svartberg@unn.no

Received 23 June 2008; Revised 23 July 2008; Accepted 30 July 2008; Published online 12 January 2009


The aim of this study was to examine whether CAG/GGN repeats are significant modulators of serum concentrations of total and free testosterone (T) as well as of luteinizing hormone (LH) in elderly men. Sixty-nine 60- to 80-year-old men with subnormal T levels (≤ 11.0 nmol L-1) and 104 men with normal T levels taking part in a nested case-control study were used for these analyses. Sex hormones were measured and free T was calculated. The CAG and GGN polymorphisms in the androgen receptor gene were determined by polymerase chain reaction and subsequent direct sequencing. There were no differences in the CAG and GGN repeat lengths between the groups. In cross-sectional analyses of the whole cohort, total and free T were positively associated with CAG length (all P < 0.05) before, but not after, waist circumference or body mass index was added to the model. CAG repeat lengths were weakly, but not independently, associated with total and free T. These findings indicate that when clinically evaluating T and LH levels in elderly men, the CAG and GGN repeat lengths do not need to be taken into consideration.

Keywords: androgen receptor gene polymorphism, luteinizing hormone, testosterone

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