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Friday, December 14th, 2018

Testosterone Treatment Cuts Mortality Rate in Half

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There is an abundance of studies in the medical literature associating low testosterone levels with negative health outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and increased mortality. We also find no shortage of papers linking testosterone replacement therapy with improvements in related short-term health markers such as blood lipids, adiposity, insulin and blood sugar levels. However, there are as of yet a limited number of long-term large-population-based studies examining the overall changes in mortality rates when men are given hormone replacement therapy. A new paper in the Journal or Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism expands our knowledge in this needed area of study.

The paper concerns the recent study of 1,031 male veterans over the age of 40. Each of the men began the study with testosterone levels below 250 ng/dL, regarded as the very low limit of the “normal” range for testosterone (they had clinical hypogonadism). Approximately 400 of the men were then given testosterone medications to correct the hypogonadism. The two groups (treated and untreated) were followed for at least 3 years, during which time health and mortality were assessed. The results were quite startling. Testosterone treatment cut the mortality rate in half (20.7% vs. 10.3%). After assessing other factors such as age, diabetes, and CVD status, only a strong association remained between testosterone treatment status and reduced death rate.

This study further underlines what we’ve been finding with short-term health markers, and long-term studies of hypogonadism; low testosterone appears to be a strong risk factor for increased mortality. In this case, which examined a substantial population of men; treatment had a remarkable influence over mortality. More research in this area is sorely needed. However, this positive trend seems to be gaining in strength. Common TRT drugs such as AndroGel, Testim, or Axiron may be much more important to men than for just treating physical (muscle, strength) or sexual (erectile dysfunction, low libido) issues. These medicines may turn out to be some of the most effective ways to protect our health when our levels of natural testosterone drop.


Source: J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2012 Apr 11. Testosterone Treatment and Mortality in Men with Low Testosterone Levels.

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