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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-13

Testosterone and second-to-fourth digit ratio: Their relationships in adolescent males and females of Igbo Ethnic group in Nigeria

1 Department of Anatomy, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemical Pathology, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Chikezie Jude Okamkpa
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2315-7992.160733

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Background: The ratio of the second-to-fourth finger lengths (2D:4D) demonstrates a reliable sexual dimorphism across human ethnic groups. It may be established in utero and is negatively correlated with sperm counts and testosterone in men and positively correlated with estrogen in men and women. In view of its clinical importance, this study was carried out to document values of the 2 nd to 4 th digit ratio in the Igbo ethnic group of Nigerian population and to investigate its relationship with testosterone. Materials and Methods: A sample of 412 subjects (209 boys and 203 girls) between ages 12 and 20 years were recruited randomly for this study. Finger lengths were measured twice, using an electronic Vernier calliper (precision 0.01 mm). Blood samples were collected and analyzed for testosterone. Results: Men had lower 2D:4D ratio (0.98 ± 0.01 for the right and left hand) than women (0.99 ± 0.01 for both hands). These differences in 2D:4D between sexes were statistically significant (P < 0.001 for both hands). The other digit ratios were also lower in men than women for both hands. These differences were statistically significant for all digit ratios except for the 3D:5D and 3D:4D ratio of the both hands. Conclusion: Testosterone had an inverse relationship with 2D: 4D of both hands in males, as well as females' left hands. This result confirms that digit ratios are sexually dimorphic and useful markers of disease predisposition.

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