Document Type



This study demonstrates that interactions between an adrenal androgen, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS), and increased adiposity predict a centripetal fat pattern in skeletally mature Black females. In skeletally immature females, adiposity alone best accounts for variation in the centripetal fat ratio (CFR). Three groups of Black adolescent females are compared: (1) 91 skeletally immature females, aged 12.0-15.0 years, (2) 26 skeletally mature females (skeletal age > 15.5), also aged 12.0-15.0 years, and (3) 51 older skeletally mature females, aged 15.1-17.5 years. In skeletally immature females the major predictor of centripetal fat is the body mass index (BMI), a measure of adiposity, and this relationship between increased BMI and CFR is particularly significant (p<.05) in overweight girls (BMI > 22.0). In the skeletally mature females, centripetal fat is best predicted by serum DHEAS or a function of BMI and DHEAS, especially in the overweight (BMI > 24-0), mature females. For the overweight, skeletally advanced girls (aged 12.0-15.0. skeletal age > 15.5), the interaction between BMI and serum DHEAS accounted for 54% of the variance (p<.05) in CFR; for the older overweight females, this interaction accounted for 45% of the variance (p<.05). Our findings suggest that androgens of adrenal origin are related to “android” patterns of subcutaneous fat deposition in mature females, as well as amount of body fat and timing of gonadal maturation, and may implicate abnormalities of adrenal androgen secretion in the pathogenesis of Type II diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic diseases, which are associated with a centripetal fat distribution in obese adult females.