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Mental wellbeing and quality of sexual life in women with primary Sjögren’s syndrome are related to circulating dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate
  1. S Th Valtysdottir,
  2. L Wide,
  3. R Hallgren
  1. Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr S Th Valtysdottir, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, 751 85 Sweden;


Objectives: To evaluate the possible effect of androgen status on sexuality and mental wellbeing in patients with primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS).

Methods: Serum levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S), testosterone (T), androstenedione, sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and the SHBG/T ratio were measured in 21 women with pSS. Sexual life was assessed by a Swedish version of the McCoy scale, which covers sexual experience and responsiveness during the past 30 days. A standardised questionnaire, the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWB), was used to examine quality of life and psychological symptoms in patients with pSS.

Results: Positive correlations were found between DHEA-S serum levels and the total McCoy score (rs=0.62; p<0.01), as well as the subscales of this score reflecting arousal (0.59; p<0.05), desire (rs=0.52; p<0.05), and satisfaction (rs=0.66; p<0.01). Serum DHEA-S concentrations were also related to the total PGWB score (rs=0.60; p<0.01) and subscales of this score: depression (rs=0.62; p<0.01), wellbeing (rs=0.64; p<0.01), general health (rs=0.67; p<0.01), and self control (rs=0.67; p<0.01). Total McCoy and PGWB scores and their subscales were not related to the serum levels of testosterone and androstenedione or the T/SHBG ratio.

Conclusions: Circulating levels of the weak androgen DHEA-S are positively related to the quality of sexual life and mental wellbeing in women with pSS.

  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate
  • sexual life
  • wellbeing
  • CNS, central nervous system
  • DHEA-S, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate
  • PGWB, Psychological General Well-Being Index
  • pSS, primary Sjögren’s syndrome
  • SHBG, sex hormone binding globulin

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