ESPE Abstracts (2018) 89 LB-P-6

Sex Hormone Levels in Young Children: a Pilot Study of the Japan Environment and Children's Study

Tadayuki Ayabea, Maki Fukamia, Kiwako Yamamoto-Hanadaa, Kazue Ishitsukaa, Hidetoshi Mezawaa, Mizuho Konishia, Mayako Saitoa, Hatoko Sasakia, Miori Satoha, Minaho Nishizatoa, Takehiro Michikawab, Shin Yamazakib, Yukifumi Mondenc, Nathan Misec, Fujio Kayamac, Masayuki Shimonod, Koichi Kusuharad, Toshihiro Kawamotob,d, Masafumi Sanefujie, Kiyoko Katoe, Masako Odaf, Hiroshi Mitsubuchif, Takahiko Katohf, Hirohisa Saitoa & Yukihiro Ohyaa


aMedical Support Center for Japan Environment and Children’s Study, National Center for Child Health and Development, Tokyo, Japan; bProgramme Office for Japan Environment and Children’s Study, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan; cRegional Center for Pilot Study of Japan Environment and Children’s Study, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke, Japan; dRegional Center for Pilot Study of Japan Environment and Children’s Study, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Kitakyushu, Japan; eRegional Center for Pilot Study of Japan Environment and Children’s Study, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan; fRegional Center for Pilot Study of Japan Environment and Children’s Study, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan


Background: Information on sex hormone levels in young children is currently lacking, because those levels are generally below the lower limit of quantitation of conventional immunoassay methods. We investigated sex differences in serum levels of sex hormones in relation to upstream hormones and other background factors in young children, using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

Methods: This cross-sectional study enrolled 151 children (80 boys and 71 girls) aged around 6 years, who participated in a pilot study of the Japan Environment and Children’s Study (JECS). Serum levels of estradiol (E2), testosterone (T), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S) were measured by LC-MS/MS, and serum luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) were measured by chemiluminescent enzyme immunoassay. A gender-stratified multiple linear regression model with sex hormones as the outcome variable and upstream hormone levels and background factors (height, abdominal girth, and specimen-collection time) as explanatory variables was generated.

Results: There were no significant gender-related differences in levels of T and DHEA-S, but serum levels of E2 and FSH were significantly higher in girls than boys. Median (interquartile range) levels of E2 in girls and boys were 1.02 (0.65–1.58) and 0.10 (0.06–0.16) pg/ml, respectively (Welch’s t-test; P<0.001). The Wald test suggested that T levels in both boys and girls were associated with DHEA-S levels (both P<0.001) and were higher in the morning (P=0.007 and 0.006, respectively). Furthermore, E2 levels in boys were significantly associated with T levels (=0.018), while E2 levels in girls were significantly associated with both T and FSH levels (P<0.001 and 0.010, respectively).

Conclusion: Obvious gender differences in E2 levels exist even in young children. Furthermore, E2 levels in pre-pubertal girls are associated with both DHEA-S and FSH.

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