for Endocrinology BES 2011
A new study of men with type 2 diabetes showed that
those with low testosterone levels may die sooner unless they are given
testosterone replacement therapy.
Low testosterone levels placed men with diabetes at an
increased risk for death (P=.001), according to data presented at the
Society for Endocrinology BES 2011 meeting. Thirty-six of 182 men with diabetes
and untreated low testosterone died during the 6-year study compared with 31 of
338 men with normal testosterone levels (20% vs. 9%). Further, only five of 58
men with diabetes who were given testosterone replacement therapy died during
the study (8.6%), meaning that they showed better survival compared with the
non-treated group (P=.049).
“This is potentially a very exciting finding,”
T. Hugh Jones, MD, of the Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the
University of Sheffield, United Kingdom, said in a press release. “While
we have shown that low testosterone levels can put diabetic men at greater risk
of dying, we have also demonstrated for the first time the potential benefit
that testosterone replacement therapy holds for this group of patients.”
The 6-year study included 587 men with type 2 diabetes.
Participants were divided into three groups:
- Those with normal testosterone levels (>10.4 nmol/L; n=338).
- Those with low testosterone levels (<10.4 nmol/L) not treated with
testosterone replacement therapy (n=182).
- Those with low testosterone levels treated with testosterone
replacement therapy for 2 years or more (n=58).
The researchers said this is the first study to show
that testosterone replacement therapy can improve survival in
testosterone-deficient men with type 2 diabetes.
“It is well known that men with type 2 diabetes
often have low testosterone levels, so it is important that we investigate the
health implications of this. We now need to carry out a larger clinical trial
to confirm these preliminary findings. If confirmed, then many deaths could be
prevented every year,” Jones said in the release.
In a second study presented at the meeting, Jones and
colleagues found that low testosterone and severity of erectile dysfunction are
independently associated with a reduced health-related quality of life in men
with type 2 diabetes.
Of the 356 men with type 2 diabetes who were questioned
about their health-related quality of life, scores decreased as testosterone
levels decreased (P=.044). When the researchers assessed 126 men for
erectile dysfunction, health-related quality of life decreased in physical
functioning (P=.003), social functioning (P=.022), vitality
(P=.025) and pain (P=.012) as the severity of erectile
“This finding supports previous evidence suggesting
that erectile dysfunction is a marker of ill health,” Jones said in the
release. “Our next step is to assess whether offering testosterone
replacement therapy to diabetic men with testosterone deficiency and erectile
dysfunction may help to improve their health-related quality of life.”
Disclosure: Dr. Jones reports no relevant financial
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