Study Title:

The association between serum dehydroepiandrosterone Sulphate (DHEA-S) level and bone mineral density in Korean men.

Study Abstract


Many lines of evidence indicate that dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) plays a distinct role in bone metabolism and that its sulphated form (DHEA-S), which is easily measured in blood, may be a potential biomarker of osteoporosis-related phenotypes. However, most previous epidemiologic studies focused on postmenopausal women and reported conflicting results.


We aimed to investigate the association between the serum DHEA-S level and bone mass in men.


This large cross-sectional study included 1089 healthy Korean men who participated in a routine health screening examination. Bone mineral density (BMD) at the lumbar spine, total femur, femur neck, and trochanter and serum DHEA-S level were obtained in all subjects.


After adjustment for age, body mass index, lifestyle factors and serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, testosterone, 25-OH-vitamin D3 and cortisol, higher serum DHEA-S concentrations were associated with higher BMD values at all skeletal sites. Consistently, compared to the subjects in the highest DHEA-S quartile (Q4), those in the lowest DHEA-S quartile (Q1) showed significantly lower BMD values. Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that the odds ratios for the risk of lower BMD (T-score <-1) increased in a dose-dependent manner across decreasing DHEA-S quartiles and the odds for the risk of lower BMD were 2·59-fold higher in Q1 than in Q4.


These findings support previous evidences that DHEA-S has favourable effects on bone mass in men and suggest that a low serum DHEA-S level may be a potential risk factor for male osteoporosis.

Study Information

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Aug;83(2):173-9. doi: 10.1111/cen.12755. Epub 2015 Mar 13.

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