Endocrine Abstracts (2006) 11 P420

Migration to the UK results in significantly lower testosterone levels in South Asian men

JV Patel1, N Panja1, D Prabharakan3, S Anderson4, A Vyas4, D Bhatnagar5, P Durrington5, JM Gibson6, E Hughes1, S Reddy3, JK Cruickshank4 & AH Heald2


1Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Sandwell General Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom; 2Department of Endocrinology, Bishop Auckland General Hospital, Bishop Auckland, United Kingdom; 3All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India; 4Clinical Epidemiology Group, University of Manchester Medical School, Manchester, United Kingdom; 5University Department of Medicine, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, United Kingdom; 6Vascular Research Group, Hope Hospital, Salford, United Kingdom.


Introduction: Compared to ethnically European men, Pakistani origin men living in the UK have a lower circulating total and free testosterone level, corresponding with greater central adiposity and higher insulin resistance. Within a South Asian group we have now examined the effect of migration to the UK on male testosterone level.

Methods: Circulating testosterone concentration was measured by automated immunoassay in 97 Gujarati males resident in India and in 79 males from the same villages of origin living in Birmingham UK. The relationship between serum testosterone level and other metabolic indices together with anthropometric parameters was determined.

Results: Circulating testosterone was significantly lower in UK Gujarati males (mean:interquartile range) 16.7 nmol/l (13.9–20.3) vs Indian Gujarati males 21.5 (16.1–28.1), (P<0.001). Waist:hip ratio was correspondingly higher in UK Gujarati males (mean: 95% Confidence Interval) 0.92 (0.90–0.94) compared with Indian Gujarati males 0.87 (0.86–0.88), (P<0.001).

In univariate analysis a lower total testosterone was associated with elevated waist:hip ratio (Spearman’s rho =−0.27, P<0.001), diastolic BP (rho =−0.28, P<0.001), fasting NEFA (rho =−0.29, P<0.001), CRP (rho =−0.19, P=0.014), and leptin (rho =−0.28, P=0.001). Testosterone correlated positively with insulin sensitivity (HOMA-S) (rho =0.16, P=0.04).

Discussion: The lower circulating testosterone in UK Gujarati males and its association with markers of adiposity, suggest a significant influence of body composition change with migration on androgen levels with potentially adverse consequences for male health.