Associations of birth weight and physical activity with sex steroids in preschool Japanese children
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We aimed to assess the association of body size at birth or physical activity with sex steroid levels, independent of body mass among young children.
The cross-sectional study was conducted in 2006. Subjects were 230 boys and 198 girls, aged 3–6 years. Birth weight was based on parents’ reports. Questions about physical activity focused on outdoor playtime. Urinary estrone, estradiol, testosterone, and 5-androstene-3β,17α diol (3β,17α-AED) levels were measured by liquid chromatography--electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Urinary dehydroepiandrosterone level was measured with a radioimmunoassay.
After adjustments for age and BMI, girls with lower birth weight had higher testosterone (trend p = 0.038) and 3β,17α-AED (trend p = 0.028). Girls with low birth weight and high birth weight had higher estrone (p = 0.014) and estradiol (p = 0.074) than those who had middle birth weight. Boys who were physically active had lower testosterone (p = 0.028) and 3β,17α-AED (p = 0.003) than those who were not active. Girls who were physically active had lower estrone (p = 0.015).
Sex steroid levels in childhood might be affected by body size at birth or by physical activity during childhood. These effects might differ by sex.
KeywordsSex steroids Child Preschool Body size Birth weight Physical activity
This work was supported by grants in aid from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology and the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare of Japan.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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