Evidence for low androgenicity among Indian (South Asian) men

Aging Male. 2014 Mar;17(1):30-4. doi: 10.3109/13685538.2013.832192. Epub 2013 Nov 11.


There are increasing data indicating profound ethnic differences in the levels of virilization of males. It is well understood that the intensity of testosterone-mediated effects is modulated by sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) and the CAG repeat lengths in the androgen receptor (AR) gene. We determined the serum testosterone, estradiol and SHBG levels and average CAG repeat lengths among a group of healthy older Indian men living in Connecticut, USA and compared these parameters with those of a reference group of white Caucasian men. We also compared various parameters that represent the end-manifestations of testosterone activity - serum prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, lean body mass, skeletal mineralization and visceral fat. Our data suggest that men from the Indian subcontinent are smaller, manifest lower levels of circulating free testosterone, lower mean PSA levels and lean body mass, but are comparable to white Caucasian men in terms of SHBG, estradiol, levels of visceral fat and CAG repeat length. These data suggest that Indian men manifest a lower level of virilization compared to white Caucasian males and that this might be due to lower mean circulating testosterone levels rather than higher AR CAG repeat length or SHBG.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Androgens / deficiency*
  • Asians
  • Body Composition
  • Connecticut
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / ethnology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • Testosterone / deficiency*
  • Whites


  • Androgens
  • Testosterone