Cross-sectional studies have associated cigarette smoking in men with elevated androstenedione and little net effect on other sex steroids. However, it is not clear if such findings reflect the impact of nicotine exposure or if sex hormone levels change following smoking cessation. The relationship of the reported number of cigarettes smoked per day and salivary continine to salivary testosterone and androstenedione was examined in 221 men aged 35 to 59 years at baseline and 1 year following randomization into a clinical trial including a smoking-cessation intervention. At baseline, salivary cotinine was related to increased salivary androstenedione and testosterone following control for age, body mass, alcohol intake, and time of day of specimen collection (partial r = +.14 and +.30, P < .05 and .01, respectively). The reported number of cigarettes smoked per day was unrelated to either hormone. At the first annual visit, there was a significant decrease in the salivary androstenedione of men who had quite smoking and were currently using nicotine gum (94 v 60 pg/mL, P < .05, n = 34) and of men who had quit smoking and were not exposed to nicotine (86 v 56 pg/mL, P < .05, n = 48), whereas the salivary androstenedione of men who remained smokers at the first annual visit was unchanged (83 v 85 pg/mL, n = 139). Salivary testosterone levels were not significantly affected by a change in smoking status. These findings suggest that cigarette smoking has a primary effect that serves to increase salivary androstenedione, whereas neither cigarette smoking nor nicotine exposure per se has a clear effect on salivary free testosterone levels in men.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism