The age-testosterone relationship in black, white, and Mexican-American men, and reasons for ethnic differences

Aging Male. Jun-Sep 2009;12(2-3):66-76. doi: 10.1080/13685530903071802.


Recent studies give contradictory findings regarding testosterone levels in white, black, and Hispanic men. Here, I present a cross-sectional reanalysis of serum testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) in 1637 males, aged 12-90, who participated in the morning examination of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) during the year 1988-1991. Testosterone and SHBG in males are described precisely over the age range 12 to 90 years. Testosterone and SHBG are not notably different in white and Mexican-American (MA) males. In the age range 20-69 years, black men average 0.39 ng/ml higher testosterone than white and MA men (p < 0.001). The higher testosterone in black men is partly explained by low marriage rate and low adiposity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mexican Americans*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin / analysis
  • Testosterone / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Sex Hormone-Binding Globulin
  • Testosterone