Association of serum cholesterol and cholesterol-lowering drug use with serum sex steroid hormones in men in NHANES III

Alison M. Mondul, Elizabeth Selvin, Sabine Rohrmann, Andy Menke, Manning Feinleib, Norma Kanarek, Nader Rifai, Adrian S. Dobs, Elizabeth A. Platz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Low cholesterol levels and statin drugs may protect against prostate cancer with a worse prognosis. Their protective mechanism is unknown, but has been hypothesized to be related to cholesterol's role as a sex steroid hormone precursor. We evaluated whether serum testosterone and estradiol differ by cholesterol or cholesterol-lowering drug use. Materials and methods: Testosterone and estradiol were measured for 1,457 male participants in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. We estimated multivariable-adjusted geometric mean hormone concentration by quintiles of cholesterol concentration and by cholesterol-lowering drugs use. Results: Across quintiles of cholesterol, testosterone level did not differ (mean, 95% confidence interval (CI); Q1: 5.25, 5.02-5.49, Q5: 5.05, 4.76-5.37 ng/ml; p-trend = 0.32), whereas estradiol levels were lower (Q1: 38.7, 36.9-40.5; Q5: 33.1, 31.8-34.5 pg/ml; p-trend < 0.0001). Neither testosterone (no: 5.12, 4.94-5.30, yes: 4.91, 4.33-5.57 ng/ml, p = 0.57) nor estradiol (no: 35.9, 34.8-37.1; yes: 33.9, 29.4-39.2 pg/ml; p = 0.39) differed by cholesterol-lowering drugs use. Conclusion: Testosterone did not differ by cholesterol or cholesterol-lowering drug use. Estradiol was lower in men with higher cholesterol, but did not differ by cholesterol-lowering drug use. Our results suggest that the lower risk of advanced prostate cancer among statin users is not readily explained by a cholesterol-mediated effect of statins on sex hormone levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1575-1583
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

Keywords

  • Cholesterol
  • Cross-sectional studies
  • Gonadal steroid hormones
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductases
  • Prostatic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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