How does the serum dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) concentration change with aging?
DHEA is the most abundant steroid hormone in humans, with approximately 95% coming from the adrenal glands. DHEA sulfate (DHEAS) is the predominate circulating form of DHEA and is thought to be one of the best biological markers of human aging. Peak serum DHEAS levels are reached early in the third decade and then decline steadily. By age 70 years, circulating DHEAS levels are only about 20% of peak levels. The decrease in DHEA with aging does not represent a general decline in adrenal function, as similar changes in other adrenal hormones do not occur.