Reduced pulmonary function is associated with lower levels of endogenous total and free testosterone. The Tromsø Study

  • Johan Svartberg
  • Henrik Schirmer
  • Astri Medbø
  • Hasse Melbye
  • Ulf Aasebø
Pulmonary Diseases


Men with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have reduced endogenous testosterone levels. Little is known, however, about the relationship between pulmonary function and endogenous testosterone levels in a general population. In the present study we have examined the cross-sectional associations between sex hormones measured by immunoassay and pulmonary function assessed with spirometry and oxygen saturation in 2,197 men participating in the fifth Tromsø study. The data were analyzed by univariate correlations, multiple linear regression analyses and analyses of variance and covariance. Total and free testosterone were positively and independently associated with forced vitality capacity, FVC (% of predicted) (P = 0.001 and P = 0.006, respectively) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second, FEV1 (% predicted) (P = 0.033 and P = 0.002, respectively), and men with severe pulmonary obstruction (FEV1 % of predicted < 50) had lower free testosterone levels (P = 0.005). In this cross-sectional data from Tromsø, a reduction in pulmonary function was associated with lower levels of total and free testosterone. We suggest that the reduction of total and free testosterone could be due␣to an alteration of the hypothalamic-pituitary response.


Cross-sectional Smoking Spirometry Testosterone Waist circumference 



body mass index


chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate


forced expiratory volume in 1 sec


follicle stimulating hormone


forced vital capacity


luteinizing hormone


sex hormone-binding globulin


waist circumference



This study was supported by local funds from the University Hospital of North Norway.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan Svartberg
    • 1
  • Henrik Schirmer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Astri Medbø
    • 2
  • Hasse Melbye
    • 2
  • Ulf Aasebø
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity Hospital of North NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Institute of Community MedicineUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  3. 3.Institute of Clinical MedicineUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway

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