Lifestyle factors and serum androgens among 636 middle aged men from seven countries in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)

Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Aug;20(6):811-21. doi: 10.1007/s10552-009-9326-y. Epub 2009 Mar 21.


Objective: To evaluate the association between lifestyle and dietary factors and serum concentrations of androgens in middle-aged healthy men.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the association of lifestyle factors with circulating concentrations of androstenedione (A-dione), 3-alpha-androstanediol glucuronide (A-diol-g), testosterone (T), SHBG (sex hormone-binding globulin), and free testosterone (FT) among 636 men in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition.

Results: Compared with the youngest age group (40-49 years), the oldest (70-79 years) had a higher mean concentration of SHBG (by 44%) and lower mean concentrations of A-diol-g (by 29%) FT (19%). Men in the highest BMI group (> or =29.83 kg/m(2)) had a higher mean A-diol-g concentration (by 38%) and lower mean concentration of T (by 20%) SHBG (29%) compared with the lowest (<24.16 kg/m(2)). Current smokers had higher mean concentrations of T (by 13%), SHBG (14%), and A-dione (15%) compared with never smokers. Physical activity and dietary factors were not associated with androgen concentrations, although men in the highest fifth of alcohol intake had higher mean concentrations of A-dione (by 9%), FT (11%) compared with the lowest.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that age, body weight, smoking, and alcohol intake are associated with circulating androgen concentrations in men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Alcoholic Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Androgens / blood*
  • Androstane-3,17-diol / analogs & derivatives
  • Androstane-3,17-diol / blood
  • Androstenedione / blood
  • Body Weight
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / metabolism
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Testosterone / metabolism


  • Androgens
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Androstane-3,17-diol
  • androstane-3,17-diol glucuronide
  • Testosterone
  • Androstenedione