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November 2, 2005

Self-reported Sexual Function in Women and Androgen Levels

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;294(17):2167-2168. doi:10.1001/jama.294.17.2167

To the Editor: In their study comparing androgen levels with self-reported sexual function in women, Dr Davis and colleagues1 refer to dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfated ester (DHEAS) as androgens. This is not true because these steroids have little or no affinity for the androgen receptor, nor do they have any intrinsic androgenic effects. To date, only 2 DHEA receptors have been described in vascular endothelium2 and murine T cells.3 It is the peripheral conversion to androgens and estrogens that is thought to lead to their effects on peripheral tissues.

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