Cardiovascular disease is associated with greater incident dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate decline in the oldest old: The cardiovascular health study all stars study

Jason L. Sanders, Robert M. Boudreau, Anne R. Cappola, Alice M. Arnold, John A Robbins, Mary Cushman, Anne B. Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To describe cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and change in DHEAS with age. DESIGN: Longitudinal cohort study. SETTING: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. PARTICIPANTS: Cardiovascular Health Study All Stars study participants assessed in 2005/06 (N=989, mean age 85.2, 63.5% women, 16.5% African American). MEASUREMENTS: Health characteristics were assessed in 2005/06 according to DHEAS level, mean DHEAS and DHEAS change across age categories were tested, and linear and logistic regression was used to identify factors present in 1996/97 associated with continuous and categorical DHEAS change. RESULTS: Mean ± standard deviation DHEAS was 0.555 ± 0.414 μg/mL in 1996/97 and 0.482 ± 0.449 μg/mL in 2005/06 for women and 0.845 ± 0.520 μg/mL in 1996/97 and 0.658 ± 0.516 μg/mL in 2005/06 for men. In 2005/06, DHEAS was lower in women and subjects with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic pulmonary disease and higher for African Americans and subjects with hypertension and high cholesterol. Mean DHEAS change was greater in men (-0.200 μg/mL) than in women (-0.078 μg/mL) (P<.001). Each 1-year increase in age attenuated the effect of male sex by 0.01 μg/mL (P=.009), abolishing the sex difference in DHEAS change by age 79. Presence of CVD before the study period was associated with greater absolute DHEAS change (β=-0.04 μg/mL, P=.04) and with the fourth quartile of DHEAS change versus the first to third quartiles (odds ratio=1.46, 95% confidence interval=1.03-2.05). CONCLUSION: DHEAS change continues into very old age, is not homogenous, is affected by sex, and is associated with prevalent CVD. Future studies should investigate factors that might accelerate DHEAS decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-426
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010



  • Aging
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate
  • Gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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