Sex hormones and body composition in Indian and Pakistani versus caucasian premenopausal women

G. Murillo, S. K. Kamath, R. Chatterton, D. Amin, L. Alekel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this study was to compare sex hormones, body composition/size, and physical activity of Indian/Pakistani (I/P) vs Caucasian (C) premenopausal women (aged 20 to 40 years). Numerous risk factors have been associated with the breast cancer, including obesity and elevated sex steroids. Since the prevalence of breast cancer is low in I/P compared with C women, we hypothesized that serum levels of estradiol and estrone would be lower in I/P vs C women. Data were collected (reported as mean ±SD) from 94 healthy, non-pregnant 1/P (n=47) and C (n=47) women and included body composition using x-ray absorptiometry and skinfold thicknesses. Blood was drawn on day 8±2 of each woman's menstrual cycle and sex hormone analysis was completed on a subsample (n=24 estradiol, n=25 estrone and DHEA-S). Serum estradiol (33.1 ±37.9 vs 69.65±33.7 pg/ml) and estrone (69.2±23.8 vs 1UO.O±25.1 pg/ml) levels were lower (p<o.ool) but DHEA-S (2.76±1.37 vs 1,98±0.10 ng/ml) was higher 0<o.05) in the I/P vs C women, respectively. The l/Pwere significantly 0x0.001)shorter (158.5±5.6 vs 165.6±6.1 cm) and lighter (76.1 ±7.3 vs 82.7±9.0 kg) than the C women, respectively, but had a greater percent body fat (38.2±6.8 vs 30.9±7.9). Based on the hormone, but not the body composition data, the I/P women may be at a lower risk for breast cancer than the C females. Further analyses will determine if this trend in sex hormone levels continues and whether these factors are related to family history f breast cancer in these women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)A211
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


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