Body composition and metabolic profile in women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome

E. Dati, G. I. Baroncelli, S. Mora, G. Russo, F. Baldinotti, D. Parrini, P. Erba, P. Simi, S. Bertelloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical and experimental data suggest that androgen receptor (AR) signaling plays a role on body composition, glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism. The effect of AR disruption on such parameters was not extensively investigated in human people. A group of young to middle-age adult women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS, n = 18, age 32.2 ± 9.3 years; women with testes removed n = 14) was investigated for body mass index (BMI), body composition (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry), serum glucose levels, insulin sensitivity (HOMA-IR) and lipid profile. Mean BMI (24.2 ± 7.4 kg/m 2) was not significantly increased (T-score 1.0 ± 2.5, p = NS vs Italian female reference values), but prevalence of obesity was higher in women with CAIS than that reported in age-related Italian females (16.7% vs 3.6%, respectively). The majority of obese individuals with CAIS was in the subgroup with intact testes (3/4). DXA assessment (n = 15) demonstrated values of total free fat mass similar to that of 46,XX female controls. Increased body fat was found in CAIS women in comparison with both female and male controls. Abnormal values of cholesterol (total and LDL) and HOMA-IR were present in a large subset of patients. Our data suggest that in women with CAIS disruption of AR signaling may increase body fat and affect some metabolic parameters. Assessment of body composition, metabolic profile and, likely, cardiovascular risk seems to be advisable with ageing in these individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalSexual Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2009


  • Androgen insensitivity syndrome
  • Body composition
  • Body fat
  • Body mass index
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


Dive into the research topics of 'Body composition and metabolic profile in women with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this