Serum testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin are inversely associated with leucocyte telomere length in men: a cross-sectional analysis of the UK Biobank Study

Ross J Marriott, Kevin Murray, Charley A Budgeon, Veryan Codd, Jennie Hui, Gillian M Arscott, John P Beilby, Graeme J Hankey, Gary A Wittert, Frederick C W Wu, Bu B Yeap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Older men on average have lower testosterone concentrations compared with younger men, and more age-related comorbidities. Whether lower testosterone concentrations contribute to biological ageing remains unclear. Shorter telomeres are a marker for biological age. We tested the hypothesis that testosterone concentrations are associated with leucocyte telomere length (LTL), in middle to older aged men.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis of the UK Biobank study, involving community-dwelling men aged 40-69 years. METHODS: Serum testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) were assayed. Free testosterone was calculated (cFT). LTL was measured using Polymerase Chain Reaction. Multivariable models were used to assess associations of hormones with standardised LTL.

RESULTS: In 167,706 men, median age 58 years, adjusting for sociodemographic, lifestyle and medical factors total testosterone was inversely associated with standardised LTL, which was 0.09 longer (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.08-0.10, P 
CONCLUSIONS: Total testosterone and SHBG were independently and inversely associated with LTL. Men with higher testosterone or SHBG had shorter telomeres, arguing against a role for testosterone to slow biological ageing in men.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Volume188
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2023

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