OBJECTIVES: To study a possible effect of Ramadan fasting on luteinizing hormone and testosterone in people of the Jordan Valley.
METHODS: A comparative study (n=40) of serum levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (T) between people living in the Jordan Valley (JV), n=20, 360 meters below sea level, and those living in Ramtha City (RC), n=20, 600 meters above sea level, was conducted in December, 1998. A similar study (n=40) was also done during January 1999 in fasting people during the month of Ramadan.
RESULTS: Serum levels of LH in non-fasting people of the JV were statistically similar to those in people of RC. There was also no difference in serum levels of T between non-fasting people of the JV and those in RC. Serum levels of LH in fasting people of the JV were statistically indifferent from those fasting in RC. Serum T levels in fasting people of the JV, on the other hand, were higher than those in fasting people of RC (76+/-18.3 ng/ml compared to 62.7+/-24.2 ng/ml).
CONCLUSIONS: It is probably the environmental factors such as the higher barometric pressure of the JV compared to that at above sea level that play a role in higher serum levels of T in people of the JV. Other factors, such as genetic background and/or the cultural and nutritional characteristics of the people of the JV, may also contribute to this difference in serum T levels.