Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 4, 10

The Use of Digit Ratios as Markers for Perinatal Androgen Action

Affiliations
Review

The Use of Digit Ratios as Markers for Perinatal Androgen Action

Matthew H McIntyre. Reprod Biol Endocrinol.

Abstract

Since the ratio of the second-to-fourth finger length was first proposed as a marker for prenatal androgen action in 1998, over 100 studies have been published that have either further tested the association between the digit ratio and prenatal androgens, or employed digit ratios as a marker to investigate the association between prenatal androgens and a variety of outcomes, including behavior, fertility, and disease risks. Despite the clear demand for an adult marker of prenatal androgen action and increased use of digit ratios as such a marker, its validity remains controversial. This review (1) evaluates current evidence for the relationship between digit ratios and prenatal androgens (using experimentation with animal models, amniotic testosterone, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia case-control studies), (2) describes opportunities for future validation tests, and (3) compares the potential advantages and disadvantages of digit ratio measures with more established methods for studying the effects of prenatal androgens.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 61 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Cohen-Bendahan CCC, van de Beek C, Berenbaum SA. Prenatal sex hormone effects on child and adult sex-typed behavior: methods and findings. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews. 2005;29:353–384. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2004.11.004. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Abbott DH, Dumesic DA, Franks S. Developmental origin of polycystic ovary syndrome - a hypothesis. Journal of Endocrinology. 2002;174:1–5. doi: 10.1677/joe.0.1740001. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Dumesic DA, Schramm RD, Abbot DH. Early origins of polycystic ovary syndrome. Reproduction, Fertilty, and Development. 2005;17:349–360. doi: 10.1071/RD04092. - DOI - PubMed
    1. Zhang Y, Graubard BI, Klebanoff MA, Ronckers C, Stanczyk FZ, Longnecker MP, McGlynn KA. Maternal hormone levels among populations at high and low risk of testicular germ cell cancer. British Journal of Cancer. 2005;92:1787–1793. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602545. - DOI - PMC - PubMed
    1. Plotischman N, Troisi R, Thadhani R, Hoover RN, Dodd K, Davis WW, Sluss PM, Hsieh CC, Ballard-Barbash R. Pregnancy hormone concentrations across ethnic groups: implicaitons for later cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention. 2005;14:1514–1520. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-04-0869. - DOI - PubMed
Feedback