Genetic Epidemiology

Relationship between body mass index, cigarette smoking, and plasma sex steroids in normal male twins

Journal Article

  • Author(s): A. Wayne Meikle, D. Timothy Bishop, John D. Stringham, Marilyn H. Ford, Dee W. West, D. C. Rao
  • Article first published online: 03 Jun 2005
  • DOI: 10.1002/gepi.1370060303
  • Read on Online Library
  • Subscribe to Journal


Smoking has been observed to affect plasma sex hormones and body mass index. The relationship between smoking, body mass index, and plasma concentration of sex hormones was studied in normal adult male twins. The analyses were performed for between 150 and 159 twin pairs for whom hormonal data were available on both twins. With bivariate analysis, neither body mass index nor smoking affected estrone, luteinizing hormone, follicle‐stimulating hormone, ratio of testosterone to estradiol, or ratio of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Body mass index significanly (P < 0.05) affected sex hormone binding globulin, whereas smoking had no effect. The plasma contents of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone and the luteinizing hormone/testosterone ratio were affected by both body mass index and smoking, although, after allowing for body mass, smoking was less significant (0.05 < P < 0.10). A path model was formulated to examine the relationship of body mass and sex steroid levels. Our results suggest that body mass index affects sex steroids, since common environmental factors do not account for the strength of the relationship. The bivariate analysis suggests that the smoking effect on sex hormones (except perhaps for dihydrotestosterone) is secondary to an effect on body mass index.

Related Topics

Related Publications

Related Content

Site Footer


This website is provided by John Wiley & Sons Limited, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ (Company No: 00641132, VAT No: 376766987)

Published features on are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.