Orentreich N, Brind JL, Vogelman JH, Andres R, Baldwin H
J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 1992 Oct;75(4):1002-4
Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DS) was measured by direct tritium RIA in longitudinal plasma specimens from 97 normal healthy male participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Fasting blood was collected at regular visits (approximately 1.5 yr apart) over an average 13 yr of adulthood (cumulative age range: 32-83 yr). DS was measured in 3-4 widely spaced specimens from each subject. A decline in DS was found in 65 (67%) subjects, 13 subjects (13%) showed no change, and increases were found in the 19 remaining subjects during the study period. A plot of individual data points revealed the same pattern we had obtained previously from a cross-sectional study of a different normal male population. A plot of DS values vs. age among subjects whose DS increased during the study also revealed an age-related decline. Thus, the longitudinal decrease in circulating DS, long inferred from cross-sectional data, is confirmed for normal men in the present study. A more detailed study of every specimen collected during the study period from 12 of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging subjects (4 whose values tended to be low, 4 whose values tended to be high, and 4 whose values were near the mean) failed to reveal any patterns of variation that could be correlated with changes in life circumstances, health status, or any other discernible factors. Hence, the wide variability seen in DS among individuals within normal populations remains unexplained.