Adolescent Obesity May Cause Hormone Abnormality
A recent report from the Journal ofClinical Endocrinology and Metabolismasserts that girls who are obese at thetime of puberty are at increased risk forhigher-than-normal levels of a steroidhormone. Hyperandrogenemia is theresult of high levels of testosterone orandrosterone, both of which controlmasculine characteristics. The conditionalso is associated with polycystic ovarysyndrome, which includes infertility, obesity,abnormal menstruation, and hirsutism.Researchers evaluated weight,hormone levels, and stage of puberty for76 girls aged 7 to 17 years, 41 of whomwere obese. Among the obese girls, thetestosterone levels were 2.1 times higher,and the sex hormone-binding globulinwas 50% lower than in normal-weightgirls. The rates remained similar evenafter girls with irregular periods and hirsutismwere excluded from the study.
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.