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Cortisol and androgen concentrations in female and male elite endurance athletes in relation to physical activity

Cortisol and androgen concentrations in female and male elite endurance athletes in relation to physical activity

European Journal of Applied Physiology & Occupational Physiology 63(3-4): 308-311

To evaluate the effect on variations in physical activity on selected hormone concentrations in male versus female athletes, fasting serum concentrations of cortisol (C), total-testosterone, free-testosterone, non sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) bound testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, 4-androstene-3,17-dione and SHBG were studied. The tests were performed in nine male and sevem female elite endurance athletes during the off-season (test 1), early in the competition season (test 2) and at the end of the competition season (test 3). The C concentration increased significantly during the competition season in women but not in men. Further, the mean C concentrations at test 3 as well as the mean level during the whole observation period (tests 1, 2, 3) were significantly higher in women than in men. No significant changes were found in androgen concentrations or androgen:cortisol ratios within the two groups. The differences between the sexes in C response may indicate different adaptive mechanisms to similar physical stress.

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Accession: 007165322

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PMID: 1836993

DOI: 10.1007/bf00233867

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