Serum testosterone levels correlate with haemoglobin in middle-aged and older men

Authors: Yeap, B. B.; Beilin, J.1; Shi, Z.2; Knuiman, M. W.3; Olynyk, J. K.; Bruce, D. G.4; Milward, E. A.

Source: Internal Medicine Journal, Volume 39, Number 8, August 2009 , pp. 532-538(7)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Abstract Background:

Lower testosterone levels are associated with anaemia in older men and women. The relation between testosterone and haemoglobin (Hb) in younger and middle-aged men is less well defined. The aim of the study was to examine the association between testosterone and Hb levels in men spanning middle to older ages. Methods:

A cross-sectional analysis of 492 men aged 30.7–94.5 years from the Busselton Health Survey, Western Australia, was carried out. Haemoglobin (Hb), early-morning serum total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were measured. Free testosterone was calculated using mass action equations. Results:

Haemoglobin correlated to total and free testosterone concentrations (r= 0.13, P= 0.003 and r= 0.20, P < 0.001, respectively). Hb and SHBG were inversely correlated (r=−0.14, P= 0.001). Hb increased across lowest to highest quartiles of total testosterone (P= 0.02) and free testosterone (P < 0.001), but not SHBG. After adjusting for age, waist circumference, smoking status, alcohol consumption, renal function and ferritin, total testosterone was associated with Hb (= 0.037, P= 0.003) as was free testosterone (= 2.32, P < 0.001), whereas SHBG was not associated. Conclusion:

Testosterone concentration modulates Hb levels in community-dwelling men across a wide age range. Further studies are needed to clarify implications of this association between testosterone and Hb in men.

Keywords: free testosterone; haemoglobin; men; testosterone

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Endocrinology, Royal Perth Hospital, 2: 4Research Center for Gender, Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle, and 3: School of Population Health, University of Western Australia, and 4: School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia,

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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