In a recent study from University of Michigan, scientists find that a man’s total testosterone level may be linked to more than just sexual health and muscle mass preservation.
Low amounts of the hormone could also be associated with chronic disease, even in men 40 years of age and younger.
Previous research has shown that total testosterone deficiency in men increases with age, and studies have shown that testosterone deficiency is also associated with obesity-related chronic diseases.
In the study, the team studied the relationship among testosterone, age and chronic disease.
They used a population sample that was much more representative of males in the United States today.
Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the research team examined the extent to which hypogonadism is prevalent among men of all ages.
Of the 2,399 men in the survey who were at least 20 years old, 2,161 had complete information on demographics, chronic disease, blood samples for total testosterone, grip strength and heart disease risk factors.
The team then examined prevalence of nine chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, stroke, pulmonary disease, high triglycerides, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and clinical depression.
The researchers studied the prevalence of multimorbidity, or when two or more of the chronic conditions were present, among three age groups (young, middle-aged and older men) with and without testosterone deficiency.
They found that low total testosterone was associated with multimorbidity in all age groups—but it was more prevalent among young and older men with testosterone deficiency.
The team hopes the study and its results can serve as a public service announcement for men.
Mark Peterson, Ph.D., M.S., FACSM is the lead author of the study and assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Michigan Medicine.
Co-author Aleksandr Belakovskiy, M.D. is a resident in family medicine at Michigan Medicine, who helped to design and carry out the study.
The research is published in Scientific Reports.
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