Identification of Late-Onset Hypogonadism in Middle-Aged and Elderly Men

Andrology Research Unit, Developmental and Regenerative Biomedicine Research Group, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom.
New England Journal of Medicine (Impact Factor: 55.87). 07/2010; 363(2):123-35. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0911101
Source: PubMed


The association between aging-related testosterone deficiency and late-onset hypogonadism in men remains a controversial concept. We sought evidence-based criteria for identifying late-onset hypogonadism in the general population on the basis of an association between symptoms and a low testosterone level.
We surveyed a random population sample of 3369 men between the ages of 40 and 79 years at eight European centers. Using questionnaires, we collected data with regard to the subjects' general, sexual, physical, and psychological health. Levels of total testosterone were measured in morning blood samples by mass spectrometry, and free testosterone levels were calculated with the use of Vermeulen's formula. Data were randomly split into separate training and validation sets for confirmatory analyses.
In the training set, symptoms of poor morning erection, low sexual desire, erectile dysfunction, inability to perform vigorous activity, depression, and fatigue were significantly related to the testosterone level. Increased probabilities of the three sexual symptoms and limited physical vigor were discernible with decreased testosterone levels (ranges, 8.0 to 13.0 nmol per liter [2.3 to 3.7 ng per milliliter] for total testosterone and 160 to 280 pmol per liter [46 to 81 pg per milliliter] for free testosterone). However, only the three sexual symptoms had a syndromic association with decreased testosterone levels. An inverse relationship between an increasing number of sexual symptoms and a decreasing testosterone level was observed. These relationships were independently confirmed in the validation set, in which the strengths of the association between symptoms and low testosterone levels determined the minimum criteria necessary to identify late-onset hypogonadism.
Late-onset hypogonadism can be defined by the presence of at least three sexual symptoms associated with a total testosterone level of less than 11 nmol per liter (3.2 ng per milliliter) and a free testosterone level of less than 220 pmol per liter (64 pg per milliliter).

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    • "Particularly, sexual symptoms might indicate hypogonadism. In one study, an inverse relationship between an increasing number of sexual symptoms and a decreasing testosterone level was observed (Wu et al., 2010). T therapy (TTh) has a number of beneficial effects particularly on weight, fat distribution and metabolic factors (Corona et al., 2013a,c; Cai et al., 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Subnormal levels of testosterone are associated with significant negative health consequences, with higher risks of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. The numbers of studies reporting on the benefits of normalisation of testosterone is increasing but longer-term data on (elderly) men receiving testosterone treatment are almost nonexistent. In this single-centre, cumulative, prospective, registry study, 115 hypogonadal men (mean age 59.05 years) received injections with testosterone undecanoate in 12-week intervals for up to 10 years. Waist circumference, body weight and mean BMI dropped progressively with statistical significance versus previous year for 7 years and, respectively, 8 years for weight and body mass index. Similarly, fasting glucose displayed a significant decrease after the first year continuing to decrease thereafter. A decline in HbA1c , from 6.4% to 5.6% (mean <6%), was observed from year 2 on, together with a decrease in the ratio of triglycerides:high-density lipoprotein (HDL), a surrogate marker of insulin resistance, with an increase in HDL levels. The total cholesterol:HDL ratio and non-HDL cholesterol declined significantly. A decrease was also observed in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, with a decrease in levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein. No major adverse cardiovascular events were observed throughout the study.
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    • "Baseline total and free T were included in separate mixed models as dichotomized factors using predefined cut points of baseline total T (8, 11 and 13 nmol/L) and free T (160, 220 and 280 pmol/L). These thresholds had been previously identified for a range of symptoms from a large population-representative cohort (Wu et al., 2010). These models consisted of baseline T, treatment and its interaction. "
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    ABSTRACT: Testosterone (T) deficiency, sexual dysfunction, obesity and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are common and often coexist. T prescriptions have increased worldwide during the last decade, including to those with undiagnosed or untreated OSA. The effect of T administration on sexual function, neurocognitive performance and quality of life in these men is poorly defined. The aim of this study was to examine the impact of T administration on sexual function, quality of life and neurocognitive performance in obese men with OSA. We also secondarily examined whether baseline T might modify the effects of T treatment by dichotomizing on baseline T levels pre-specified at 8, 11 and 13 nmol/L. This was a randomized placebo-controlled study in which 67 obese men with OSA (mean age 49 ± 1.3 years) were randomized to receive intramuscular injections of either 1000 mg T undecanoate or placebo at baseline, week 6 and week 12. All participants were concurrently enrolled in a weight loss program. General and sleep-related quality of life, neurocognitive performance and subjective sexual function were assessed before and 6, 12 and 18 weeks after therapy. T compared to placebo increased sexual desire (p = 0.004) in all men, irrespective of baseline T levels. There were no differences in erectile function, frequency of sexual attempts, orgasmic ability, general or sleep-related quality of life or neurocognitive function (all p = NS). In those with baseline T levels below 8 nmol/L, T increased vitality (p = 0.004), and reduced reports of feeling down (p = 0.002) and nervousness (p = 0.03). Our findings show that 18 weeks of T therapy increased sexual desire in obese men with OSA independently of baseline T levels whereas improvements in quality of life were evident only in those with T levels below 8 nmol/L. These small improvements would need to be balanced against potentially more serious adverse effects of T therapy on breathing.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Andrology
    • "The association between T deficiency and poor health status, in fact, has been recently described in men with obesity (Corona et al., 2011d) or with a history of previous CV diseases and hypogonadism resulted to be protective on further CV events (Corona et al., 2014a). An increasing body of evidence suggests that a low T syndrome is common especially in older frail men with multiple morbidities (Travison et al., 2007; Wu et al., 2010) and that the lowering of circulating T might be a protective mechanism in unhealthy conditions (Corona et al., 2011d, 2014a). This adaptive mechanism might avoid physiological conditions of high-energy expenditure that are potentially detrimental for the sick patient (e.g., reproductive behavior, vigorous physical activity, increased energy expenditure, and high CV rate), thus conferring advantage for both the patient (in terms of sparing energy) and the species (preventing fatherhood) (Corona et al., 2011d, 2014a; Rochira & Guaraldi, 2014). "
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    ABSTRACT: Men with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection are often hypogonadal and develop several HIV-associated non-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (HANA) conditions that impair overall health status. No studies explored the relationship between health status and serum testosterone (T) in HIV-infected men. This study aims to investigate the association between total serum T and HANA, multimorbidity, and frailty in a large cohort of 1359 HIV-infected men and to explore the relationship between patients' overall health status and serum T. Among biochemical and hormonal measurement performed the main are serum total T, free triiodothyronine (fT3), and luteinizing hormone. Other outcome measurements include anthropometry, assessment of comorbidities and disabilities, overall health status defined as the number of HANA and by the 38-item multimorbidity frailty index, anthropometry, and bone mineral density. The cumulative relative risk of comorbidities is increased in HIV-infected men with hypogonadism (p < 0.001) and hypogonadism is associated with several comorbidities. The prevalence of hypogonadism increases progressively with the increase of the number of comorbidities. Frailty index is inversely related to serum total T (age-adjusted r = 0.298, r(2) = 0.089, p < 0.0001). Serum fT3 levels are significantly lower in hypogonadal than eugonadal men (p = 0.022). This suggests that low serum T could be considered a sensitive marker of frailty and poor health status and that the latter might induce hypogonadism. The more HIV-infected men are frail the more they are hypogonadal. This suggests that hypogonadism might be a naturally occurring condition in unhealthy HIV-infected men and raises concern about the safety of T treatment. In conclusion, low serum T is associated with multimorbidity, HANA, and frailty in HIV-infected men and this association seems to be bidirectional. Given the wide attitude to offer T treatment to HIV-infected men, caution is needed when prescribing T to HIV-infected male patients, especially if the patient is unhealthy or frail. © 2015 American Society of Andrology and European Academy of Andrology.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Andrology
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