Men with more advantaged socioeconomic position (SEP) have been observed to have higher levels of testosterone. It is unclear whether these associations arise because testosterone has a causal impact on SEP. In 306,248 participants of UK Biobank, we performed sex-stratified genome-wide association analysis to identify genetic variants associated with testosterone. Using the identified variants, we performed Mendelian randomization analysis of the influence of testosterone on socioeconomic position, including income, employment status, neighborhood-level deprivation, and educational qualifications; on health, including self-rated health and BMI, and on risk-taking behavior. We found little evidence that testosterone affected socioeconomic position, health, or risk-taking. Our results therefore suggest it is unlikely that testosterone meaningfully affects these outcomes in men or women. Differences between Mendelian randomization and multivariable-adjusted estimates suggest previously reported associations with socioeconomic position and health may be due to residual confounding or reverse causation.
|Accepted/In press - 10 Jun 2021