Serum hormones in men with human immunodeficiency virus-associated wasting

Adrian S. Dobs, Walter L. Few, Marc R. Blackman, S. Mitchell Harman, Donald R. Hoover, Neil M.H. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Weight loss is commonly associated with increased morbidity and mortality in individuals with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We performed a nested case-control study of 26 HIV-infected subjects recruited from a cohort of gay men enrolled in the Multicenter Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Cohort Study. To test the hypothesis that hormonal changes precede and may induce the wasting syndrome, we performed a nested case-control study and analyzed serum gonadal steroids and GH in samples of HIV-infected men with or without weight loss, uncomplicated by diarrhea or ever having an opportunistic infection. We studied 13 cases (mean age ± SD, 45 ± 7.2 yr) with a mean weight loss of 13 ± 3.6%, considered to have the wasting syndrome by Centers for Disease Control criteria(weight loss of > 10%) and 13 controls matched for age and duration of follow-up. Serum bioavailable testosterone (T) levels decreased in the case group (P < 0.05) before the definition of wasting was attained, although weight loss had already begun. More impressive declines occurred in serum T (P = 0.012), free T (P = 0.0025), and bioavailable T (P < 0.0001) during the 6 months immediately before documentation of wasting. These changes were concurrent with an increase in serum FSH (P = 0.0135) without a change in serum LH. We conclude that a decline in bioavailable T occurs early in the course of events leading to wasting, suggesting that changes in gonadal hormones may contribute to the multifactorial etiology of the wasting syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4108-4112
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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