Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences

Department name when degree awarded

Nutrition and Food Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Deborah R. Gustafson


Deborah R. Gustafson


Ronald Munger


Richard Cutler


Androgen receptor (AR) gene CAG polymorphisms may be associated with body shape, and are associated with certain breast and prostate cancers. In addition, body shape is associated with risk for a variety of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain forms of cancer. The CAG repeat in exon l of the AR gene was quantified using Perkin Elmer Applied Biosystems GeneScan analysis software in 96 and 59 healthy Caucasian men and women, respectively, who were over the age of 50 years. All participants had body measurements taken and donated a blood sample. Waist measurements included circumferences at the 1) umbilicus (wstumb), 2) top of the iliac crest (wstili), and 3) midpoint between the lowest rib and the iliac crest (wstwst). Waist-hip ratio (Wl-IR) was calculated using each corresponding waist measurement, respectively (WHRUMB, WHRILI, WHRWST). Mean repeat length was significantly different (p < 0.01) between men (22 ± 0.3 repeats) and women (23 ± 0.3 repeats). There was a significant relationship (p < 0.05) between mean individual CAG repeat number and tertile of WHRUMB in women based on the mean number of CAG repeats for each woman. Waist measurements in women were significantly different for all pairwise comparisons (p < 0.05). In addition, the three measurements of WHR in women, WHRUMB, WHRILI, and WHRWST, were significantly different from each other (p < 0.05). Thus, lesser numbers of CAG repeats may indicate a more androgenic phenotype in women.