DHEA in hair and glucose control in African-American adults
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The relationship between dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and glucose control is unclear. Hair DHEA analysis, which allows the assessment of long-term integrated hormone levels, may provide an advantage over previous DHEA measures and bring clarity to the association between DHEA and glucose control. We used the analysis of DHEA in hair to examine associations of long-term DHEA levels with prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) and elevated glycated hemoglobin (HbA[subscript 1C]) in a group of African-American adults. Participants included 69 community-dwelling African-American adults (aged 21–84 years; 84% female). The first 3 cm of scalp-near hair were analyzed for DHEA concentration using enzyme-linked immunoassay analysis (ELISA). HbA[subscript 1C] was assessed and dichotomized into T2DM (HbA[subscript 1C] >= 6.5%) or not and Elevated HbA[subscript 1C] (>= 5.7%) or not, based on National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK) criteria. In logistic regression analyses, DHEA concentrations inversely predicted T2DM and Elevated HbA[subscript 1C] statuses (separately), independent of age, sex, depressive symptoms, and minutes of exercise per week. Long-term DHEA secretion, as assessed in scalp hair, inversely predicted T2DM and elevated HbA[subscript 1C] statuses in African-American adults. Scalp hair may be a useful tool for future work involving DHEA and metabolic function.