Testosterone prolongs life
A decrease in testosterone levels is characteristic of elderly men and is observed in 18% of men over 70 years of age who are in the so-called andropause, sometimes called male menopause.
Within the framework of the annual congress of the endocrinological community held in San Francisco, scientists from the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University of Greifswald, working under the guidance of Dr. Robin Haring, presented the results of a study in which almost 2,000 men aged 20 to 79 years participated. The authors found that, compared with a high level of testosterone, a low level of this hormone increases the risk of death (from any cause) by 2.5 times during the next 10 years of life.
When examining the participants, it turned out that low testosterone levels are observed in older, more prone to obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure men. According to the authors, it is possible that lifestyle influences the level of this hormone in the body.
It is known that low testosterone levels are associated with metabolic syndrome – a complex of metabolic risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other disorders, including bone and muscle atrophy, depression and decreased libido. During the congress, Professor Farid Saad from Bayer Schering Pharma presented data according to which the restoration of normal testosterone levels leads to a progressive improvement in the manifestations of metabolic syndrome.
Moreover, all study participants (95 men aged 34 to 69 years with a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome), regardless of age, responded positively to treatment, which consisted in the administration of a prolonged-acting testosterone drug for a year. All participants had a significant decrease in waist circumference, levels of "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as a decrease in body mass index. At the same time, there was an increase in the level of "good" cholesterol. Positive effects persisted after discontinuation of treatment.
The authors claim that the risk of side effects of hormone therapy is minimal and does not exceed the risk associated with the level of testosterone in the body of a healthy man. It is unlikely that the introduction of testosterone stimulates the formation of malignant neoplasms, but it can worsen existing prostate cancer, so it is very important to conduct a targeted examination before starting treatment.
Testosterone also stimulates the formation of red blood cells, which can help in the treatment of anemia and fatigue in men with low testosterone levels. However, this can lead to blood thickening and increase the already existing risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and stroke.