Changing Country Could Affect Male Hormone Levels

A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism might cause some trepidation for many men considering moving to another country.

The study, by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, suggests that changing country could change male testosterone levels, and thereby alter disease susceptibility and libido.


Male sex hormones, such as oestradiol and testosterone, have long been linked to age-related health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, bone strength loss, and cancer. Previous research on the subject has shown susceptibility of these diseases to be varying by the residential country.

For example, European and American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than their Asian counterparts.In an attempt to determine if sex hormone level variation could explain the disease susceptibility differences, Jane Cauley and her colleagues compared blood levels of oestradiol and testosterone in 5,000 Hong Kong, Sweden, Japan, U.S., and Tobago dwelling men that were over 65-years-old. The research team adjusted for the body mass and age of the men involved in the research.

The study showed that factors such as genetics, diet, and environment appeared to have an impact. Testosterone levels were much the same among the Swedish, Tobago, and American men, but was 16% higher in Hong Kong and Japanese men. Asian men that had relocated to America had testosterone levels akin to those of European descent, which suggests that environment and/or diet might be a factor.

Compared to the other research groups, the level of free oestradiol was 10 to 16% higher in Tobago and American men of African ancestry and relatively lower in Japanese men, a finding that might suggest a genetic influence.

The research concluded that there might be many health implications for such variations in oestradiol and testosterone levels in men.

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