Effects of Testosterone Treatment in Older Men - Beyond the Abstract

Testosterone decreases as men age. It is well known that decreased testosterone levels decreases mobility and sex drive1. The purpose of this study was to see the difference in mobility, overall vitality, and sex drive in men taking testosterone vs those with a placebo.

Seven double-blind placebo controlled trials were performed at 12 sites. Sexual function, physical function and vitality were measured. The data was collected as efficacy at baseline 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Participants were 65 or older, and had serum testosterone levels <275mg/deciliter. These were either given a 1% testosterone hydrogel or a placebo and asked to use 5g daily.

High rates of coexisting conditions were found with these subjects. 62.9% of the subjects were obese. 71.6% of the subjects had hypertension. 14.7% had a history of myocardial infarction. 705 participants completed treatment. Sexual function increased with treatment. Sexual desire and erectile function increased. For the physical trial, there was no significant difference for the placebo group and testosterone group for the walking distance. The percentage of men whose 6 min walk increased by more than 50m, those with PF-10 greater than 8, and the number that perceived their walking ability to have improved all increased in the testosterone group. In the vitality trial, taking testosterone showed no significant benefit.

Testosterone increased sexual activity, desire, and erectile function. 6 min walk distances increased for both groups, but there was no significant difference between the groups. There were benefits in mood and depressive symptoms in the group taking testosterone. There was no vitality benefit. 3 in the test group and 1 in the placebo group were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Because it is a small sample, it could not determined if the trial caused PCA.

Authors: P Snyder, S. Bhasin, G.Cunningham, A Matsumoto, A Stephens-Shields, J Cauley, T. Gill, E Barret-Connor, R. Swerdloff, C. Wang, K Ensrud, C. Lewis, J. Farrar, D. Cella, R. Rosen, M Pahor, J. Crandall, M. Molitch, D Cifelli, D. Dougar, L. Fluharty, S. Resnick, T. Storer, S. Anton, S. Basaria, S. Diem, X. Hou, E. Mohler III, J. Parsons, N. Wenger, B Zeldow, J. Landis, and S.S. Ellenberg

Affiliations: Testosterone Trials Investigators

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Reference: Wu FC, Tajar A, Pye SR, et al. Hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis disruptions in older men are differentially linked to age and modifiable risk factors: the European Male Aging Study. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2008;93:2737-45.