Population variation in age-related decline in made salivary testosterone

Peter T. Ellison, Richard G. Bribiescas, Gillian R. Bently, Benjamin C. Campbell, Susan F. Lipson, Catherine Panter-Brick, Kim Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Background: Age-related declines in free and bioavailable testosterone are frequently reported for Western populations, but interpopulation variation in this pattern has not previously been investigated. Methods: Salivary testosterone was measured using a consistently applied protocol on morning samples collected from men in four populations (USA, Congo, Nepal, and Paraguay) representing different geographical, ecological, and cultural settings. Results: Mean testosterone levels varied significantly between the four populations. The mean testosterone differences between populations were greatest for young men (aged 15-30 years) and insignificant for older men (aged 45-60 years). The slope of age-related decline in testosterone was significant in the USA and Congolese participants, but not in the Nepalese or Paraguayan participants. Conclusions: Age patterns of testosterone decline vary between populations primarily as a result of variation in the peak levels attained in young adulthood. The potential consequences of this variation for other aspects of male health deserve investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3251-3253
Number of pages3
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Ageing
  • Population variation
  • Salivary testosterone
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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