Using a familial correlation model to assess familial influences, baseline dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and its change (post-training minus baseline) in response to a 20-week endurance exercise training program were analyzed in 85 black families who participated in the HERITAGE Family Study (HERITAGE). Baseline levels were adjusted for a polynomial in age, and the training response was adjusted for a polynomial in age, as well as the baseline values, within 4 sex-by-generation groups before genetic analysis. We found that the maximal heritability for baseline DHEAS reached 66% (with no sex and generation differences) in black families, which is slightly (but not significantly) higher than the estimate (58%) reported previously in 99 white families in HERITAGE. Whereas weak, but significant, familial effects (26%) for the training response were previously reported for whites in HERITAGE, they were undetectable in the present study. Furthermore, we found heterogeneity in the pattern of familial aggregation (primarily due to different spouse and parent-offspring correlations) for both the baseline and its training response between blacks and whites. In conclusion, baseline DHEAS levels in blacks were also determined by substantial familial factors (just as for whites), independent of the effects of age and sex. Genetic and nongenetic familial components influencing baseline DHEAS levels in both races may be different.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Grants No. HL45670 (to C.B.), HL47323 (to A.S.L.), HL47317 (to D.C.R.), HL47327 (to J.S.S.), HL47321 (to J.H.W.), and by a grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Minnesota Clinical Research Center. A.S.L. also is supported in part by the Henry L. Taylor Professorship in Exercise Science and Health Enhancement. C.B. also is partially supported by the George A. Bray Chair in Nutrition.