This study examines the relationship between a series of epidemiologic parameters (age, height, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, and coffee drinking) and serum concentrations of testosterone, estradiol, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). Among 52 healthy, elderly Greek men, we observed that serum levels of DHEAS decreased with increasing age [19% decline per 5-year increase in age, 95% CI, -2.1-(-33.5)], obesity [48% decline for BMI >30 kg/m2 compared to <27 kg/m2, CI, -15.7-(-68.7)], and current smoking [37% decline compared to nonsmokers, CI, -9.5-(-57.2)]. Estradiol concentrations increased with increasing BMI [77.1% increase for BMI >30 kg/m2 compared to <27 kg/m2, CI, -12.0-256.3], alcohol drinking [66% increase for > or = 7 glasses/week compared to <7 glasses/week, CI, 4.4-164.4], and coffee drinking [59% increase for > or = 14 cups/week compared to > or = 14 cups/ week, CI, -0.5-155.9], and decreased among current smokers [40% decline compared to nonsmokers, CI, -64.9-0.8]. SHBG was marginally positively associated with increasing age [13% increase per 5 years, CI, -0.5-29.6]. Testosterone was significantly related only to current smoking [27% decline compared to nonsmokers, CI, -45.4-(-3.1)]. These findings suggest that several variables appear to be associated with sex steroid levels and the influence of these findings on the occurrence of hormone-related conditions warrants further exploration.