Background: Sensitivity to cold is associated with several factors, such as aging, sex, and body composition. However, no previous studies have examined the differences in sensitivity to cold in men and women or the association of hormonal levels with sensitivity to cold. Objective: The aim of the present study was to clarify both the change in sensitivity to cold with aging and the difference in sensitivity to cold between men and women. Associations were also examined between circulating hormonal concentrations and the changes with aging and differences in sensitivity. Methods: This population-based cohort study enrolled healthy Japanese men and women aged ≥ 50 years. A standardized 210-item health questionnaire was used to obtain information on symp- toms of sensitivity to cold. Serum concentrations of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hor- mone (FSH), estradiol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, and sex hormone-binding globu- lin (SHBG) were measured. Results: Of the 154 men and 180 women enrolled in this study, more women than men had sensitivity to cold. Whereas the percentage of men who had sensitivity to cold significantly increased with aging (P < 0.05), the percentage of women who had sensitivity to cold was already high (23.7%) at 50 to 60 years of age and did not change with aging. In men, advancing age and low body mass index (BMI) were significantly associated with sensitivity to cold (P < 0.05); however, age and BMI in women were not similarly associated. In addition, the effect of sex after adjustment for age was significant (P < 0.05), and there was also a numeric but nonsignificant effect of sex after adjustment for BMI. In men, low serum levels of the gonadal hormone FSH were significantly associated with sensitivity to cold in logistic analysis, but this association was nonsignificant after multivariate analysis. Serum concentrations of gonadal hormones and SHBG in women were not associated with sensitivity to col. Conclusions: The association of age with sensitivity to cold was different in men and women; the association of BMI with sensitivity to cold might be different in men and women. In addition, these changes in sensitivity to cold were not associated with circulating hormonal concentrations.
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