The Endocrine Society

The Endocrine Society

Issue: August 2012
Perspective from Vineeth Mohan, MD
June 24, 2012
2 min read

Testosterone decline not just a result of aging in men

Issue: August 2012
Perspective from Vineeth Mohan, MD
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HOUSTON — Men’s health or behavioral changes over time are more likely to cause a decline in testosterone levels, compared with their age.

Gary A. Wittert, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues examined changes in serum testosterone levels in a cohort of 1,588 men aged 35 to 80 years at baseline. Their data were collected from 2 clinic visits separated by 5 years.

“I think that the most important target for preventing decline in testosterone is to deal with the rapidly increasing obesity epidemic,” Wittert said during a presentation here at the Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting and Expo.

Wittert said he and other researchers used multivariate linear regression to examine the link between baseline predictors, change in predictors and annual changes to testosterone levels.

Models were adjusted for baseline age; the average was 54 years. Characteristics of the patients included 21% unmarried, 19% current smokers, 30% with a BMI greater than 30, 48% with a waist circumference >100 cm, and 8% with depression, Wittert said.

At baseline, testosterone levels were 16.2 nmol/L, with 3% <8 nmol/L, 36% ranging from 8 nmol/L to 15 nmol/L, and 61% >15 nmol/L, according to data.

However, the average testosterone level at follow-up was 15.6 nmol/L, which was interpreted as an insignificant change in testosterone levels of –0.13 nmol/L per year (95% CI, –0.62, 0.41), or an approximately –0.8% per year decline, Wittert reported.

Men categorized at baseline as unmarried (P<.01) had a waist circumference of >100 cm (P<.01), with a BMI >30 vs. 25 (P<.01) and smokers vs. nonsmokers (P<.01) had significant testosterone changes.

“What we conclude from this is that a testosterone decline is not an inevitable result of aging in men. The variability can be explained by chronic disease-related, behavioral, social and demographic factors,” Wittert said. – by Samantha Costa

For more information:

Wittert G. Abstract #MON-34. Presented at: the Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting & Expo; June 23-26, 2012; Houston.

Disclosure: Dr. Wittert reports he is on the advisory board for Eli Lilly and Company, receives speaker’s fees from Eli Lilly and Company and Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals, and has received research support from Bayer Schering Pharmaceuticals.