Early puberty is associated with increased risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease. Low sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels are a feature of early puberty and of conditions associated with increased cardiovascular risk. The aim of the present study was to evaluate SHBG as a predictor of glucose metabolism and metabolic risk during puberty. This was a cross-sectional study on 132 healthy Caucasian children and adolescents evaluated by an oral glucose tolerance test, a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan, direct oxygen uptake measurement during cycle ergometry, and fasting blood samples. SHBG levels declined with advancement of puberty in both boys (P < 0.001) and girls (P = 0.019). SHBG was significantly positively associated with insulin sensitivity in boys (P < 0.001) and girls (P < 0.001). In addition, SHBG was a strong predictor of insulin sensitivity (P = 0.001) and the only predictor of the disposition index (P = 0.031) after adjustment for puberty, fat mass, and aerobic fitness. SHBG was significantly negatively associated with metabolic risk (P = 0.032) and with hypersensitive C-reactive protein levels (P = 0.030) after adjustment for relevant confounders. SHBG was a strong predictor of insulin sensitivity and...Continue Reading
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