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Testosterone and estrone increase from the age of 70 years; findings from the Sex Hormones in Older Women Study


Davis, SR and Bell, RJ and Robinson, PJ and Handelsman, DJ and Gilbert, T and Phung, J and Desai, R and Lockery, JE and Woods, RL and Wolfe, RS and Reid, CM and Nelson, MR and Murray, AM and McNeil, JJ, Testosterone and estrone increase from the age of 70 years; findings from the Sex Hormones in Older Women Study, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism pp. 1-16. ISSN 0021-972X (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Endocrine Society

DOI: doi:10.1210/jc.2019-00743


Importance: There is a lack of understanding of what is normal in terms of sex steroid levels in older women.

Objective: To determine whether sex steroid levels vary with age in and establish reference ranges for women beyond 70 years.

Design and Setting: Cross-sectional, community based, study.

Participants: 6392 women, aged 70 years and older.

Main Outcome Measures: Sex steroids measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. A reference group, to establish sex steroid age-specific reference ranges, excluded women using systemic or topical sex steroid, anti-androgen or glucocorticoid therapy or an anti-glycaemic agent.

Results: The reference group of 5326 women had a mean age of 751 ( 42) years, range 70-947 years. Median values (range) were estrone (E1)1812 pmol/L (37-57689), T 038 nmol/L (0035-856), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) 260 nmol/L (007-4685) and SHBG 416 nmol/L (24-1766). Estradiol and dihydrotestosterone were below method sensitivity in 661% and 727% of the samples, respectively. Compared with women aged 70-74 years, women aged 85+ years had higher median levels of E1 (117%, p=001), T (113%, p=002) and SHBG (227%, p<0001) and lower DHEA (30% less, p<0001). Overweight and obese women had higher E1 (p<0001) and T (p<003), and lower SHBG (p<0001) than women with normal body mass index. Smokers had 172% higher median T levels (p=0005).

Conclusion: From the age of 70 years, T and E1 increase with age, despite a steady decline in DHEA. Whether E1 and T are biomarkers for longevity, or contribute to healthy aging merits investigation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Medical and Health Sciences
Research Group:Clinical Sciences
Research Field:Endocrinology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions)
Objective Field:Endocrine Organs and Diseases (excl. Diabetes)
UTAS Author:Nelson, MR (Professor Mark Nelson)
ID Code:134713
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2019-08-29
Last Modified:2019-09-06

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