Moderate Testosterone Levels Safest For Elderly Men, Study

Midrange testosterone levels in older men are associated with better survival, according to a study.

AsianScientist (Jan. 16, 2014) – Optimal levels of testosterone – meaning neither low nor high – in older men are associated with better survival, according to a study.

The study, carried out by researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA), was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Testosterone is the principle male sex hormone that regulates sexual function and body composition in men. Testosterone levels decline with age, which can lead to major health problems. But now, researchers led by Professor Bu Yeap have shown that older men who have high levels of testosterone may be as vulnerable to health concerns including a higher risk of dying.

The researchers studied 3,690 men aged 70 to 89 years living in Perth, Western Australia, as part of the Health In Men Study. Levels of testosterone and its metabolite dihydrotestosterone (DHT) were measured in blood samples collected between 2001 and 2004 and compared with survival up to December 2010.

Men with midrange levels of testosterone had lower all-cause mortality than men with lower or higher values. Men with higher DHT levels had lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease (IHD).

The authors have interpreted their data to suggest that endogenous testosterone levels have a U-shaped relationship with overall mortality in older men, and if correct, the hypothesis has important implications for the treatment of hypogonadal men, young and old.

“Having the right amount of testosterone and DHT may be important for men’s health as they grow older, but we need to conduct clinical trials to determine whether modifying levels of sex hormones would improve health outcomes in older men,” said Professor Yeap.

The researchers say that until the results of such studies are available, clinicians should avoid giving high dosages of testosterone to older, frail men.

The article can be found at: Yeap B et al. (2014) In Older Men an Optimal Plasma Testosterone Is Associated With Reduced All-Cause Mortality and Higher Dihydrotestosterone With Reduced Ischemic Heart Disease Mortality, While Estradiol Levels Do Not Predict Mortality.


Source: University of Western Australia; Photo: istolethetv/Flickr/CC.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

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