Influence of marital status on testosterone levels—a ten year follow-up of 1113 men

Table of Contents


  • Testosterone levels decrease in men who get married.
  • Testosterone levels increase in men who get divorced.
  • The capacity for testosterone production did not differ according to marital status.
  • The biological mechanisms behind these findings remain unresolved.


Based on a large population of 1113 men aged 30–60 at baseline (mean: 44.1 years, standard deviation: 10.5), we investigated whether intra-individual changes in testosterone (T) and related reproductive hormones during a ten year period were dependent of marital status at baseline and follow-up. The studied men were part of a health survey in Denmark, conducted between 1982 and 1984 with a follow-up examination approximately ten years later. Data on reproductive hormones, measured in serum, and lifestyle and marital status was obtained at both time points. As expected, an age-related decline in testosterone was observed. However, independent of age and lifestyle, we observed that men who went from unmarried to married (n = 81) during the study period experienced an accelerated age-related decline in testosterone (−6.6 nmol/L) whereas men who went from married to unmarried (n = 67) experienced an attenuated age-related decline (−2.3 nmol/L). Men who were either married or unmarried at both time points (n = 167, n = 798, respectively) had a testosterone decline in between (−3.7 nmol/L and −4.6 nmol/L, respectively). Changes in T/LH ratio did not differ according to marital status indicating that the lowered T level is not compensated by increasing LH levels. This could suggest a modification of the gonadostat due to an adaptation to changing life circumstances. Source