Salivary testosterone levels and health status in men and women in the British general population: Findings from the third national survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles (natsal-3)

S. Clifton, W. Macdowall, A. J. Copas, C. Tanton, B. G. Keevil, D. M. Lee, K. R. Mitchell, N. Field, P. Sonnenberg, J. Bancroft, C. H. Mercer, A. M. Wallace, A. M. Johnson, K. Wellings, F. C W Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Context: Salivary T (Sal-T) measurement by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy resents the opportunity to examine health correlates of Sal-T in a large-scale population survey. Objective: This study sought to examine associations between Sal-T and health-related factors in men and women age 18-74 years. Design and Setting: Morning saliva samples were obtained from participants in a cross-sectional probability-sample survey of the general British population (Natsal-3). Self-reported health and lifestyle questions were administered as part of a wider sexual health interview. Participants: Study participants included 1599 men and 2123 women. Methods: Sal-T was measured using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectroscopy. Linear regression was used to examine associations between health factors and mean Sal-T. Results: In men,meanSal-T was associated with a range of health factors after age adjustment, and showed a strong independent negative association with body mass index (BMI) in multivariable analysis. Men reporting cardiovascular disease or currently taking medication for depression had lower age-adjusted Sal-T, although there was no association with cardiovascular disease after adjustment for BMI. The decline in Sal-T with increasing age remained after adjustment for healthrelated factors. In women, Sal-T declined with increasing age; however, there were no age-independent associations with health-related factors or specific heath conditions with the exception of higher Sal-T in smokers. Conclusions: Sal-T levels were associated, independently of age, with a range of self-reported health markers, particularly BMI, in men but not women. The findings support the view that there is an age-related decline in Sal-T in men and women, which cannot be explained by an increase in ill health. Our results demonstrate the potential of Sal-T as a convenient measure of tissue androgen exposure for population research. (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 101: 3939-3951, 2016).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3939-3951
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume101
Issue number11
Early online date23 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Cathie Marsh Institute

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