Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Many men start testosterone therapy without clear medical need

Date:
January 9, 2014
Source:
Endocrine Society
Summary:
Although testosterone use has sharply increased among older men in the past decade, many patients appear to have normal testosterone levels and do not meet the clinical guidelines for treatment, according to new research.

Although testosterone use has sharply increased among older men in the past decade, many patients appear to have normal testosterone levels and do not meet the clinical guidelines for treatment, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Testosterone is a key male sex hormone involved in maintaining sex drive, sperm production and bone health. Since testosterone levels tend to naturally decline as men age, lower levels of the hormone do not necessarily mean that an individual has hypogonadism, a condition that results from low testosterone. As the population ages and an increasing number of men struggle with obesity and diabetes, more men may experience low testosterone levels without meeting diagnostic criteria or displaying symptoms of hypogonadism.

"Over the past decade, older and middle-aged men are increasingly being tested for low testosterone levels and being prescribed testosterone medications, particularly in the United States," said one of the study's authors, J. Bradley Layton, PhD, of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "While direct-to-consumer advertising and the availability of convenient topical gels may be driving more men to seek treatment, our study suggests that many of those who start taking testosterone may not have a clear medical indication to do so."

To study testosterone trends, the retrospective incident user cohort study analyzed commercial and Medicare insurance claims from the United States and general practitioner health-care records from the United Kingdom during the period between 2000 and 2011. The study identified 410,019 American men and 6,858 U.K. men who began taking testosterone during this period. The analysis also found more than 1.1 million U.S. men and 66,000 U.K. men who had their testosterone levels tested during this time.

Since 2000, the number of men beginning testosterone therapy has almost quadrupled in the United States while only increasing by a third in the United Kingdom. The majority of these patients had not had their testosterone levels measured recently or only had them tested once prior to beginning treatment.

The Endocrine Society's Clinical Practice Guidelines on testosterone therapy in adult men recommend making a clinical diagnosis of androgen deficiency, or low testosterone, only in men with consistent symptoms and unequivocally low testosterone levels.

While testosterone testing has increased substantially in the United States and the United Kingdom, the study found the testing appeared to be more targeted in the United Kingdom. Many of the tests there identified men who did have reduced levels of the hormone.

"In the United States, we saw a clear trend where more and more men being tested actually had normal testosterone levels and non-specific symptoms," Layton said. "This is cause for concern as research examines potential risks associated with testosterone use."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Endocrine Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. Bradley Layton, D. Li, J. Sharpless, T. Stόrmer and M.A. Brookhart, S.S. Jick, C.R. Meier. Testosterone Lab Testing and Initiation in the United Kingdom and the United States, 2000-2011. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, January 2014

Cite This Page:

Endocrine Society. "Many men start testosterone therapy without clear medical need." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109101744.htm>.
Endocrine Society. (2014, January 9). Many men start testosterone therapy without clear medical need. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109101744.htm
Endocrine Society. "Many men start testosterone therapy without clear medical need." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140109101744.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) — A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins