Low Testosterone May Affect More Than 25% of US Males

MedicalResearch.com Interview with: Jim Dupree, MD, MPH Assistant Professor Department of Urology, Division of Andrology University of MichiganMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jim Dupree, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor
Department of Urology, Division of Andrology
University of Michigan

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Dupree: There are increasing discussions in the United States about testosterone therapy and men with clinical hypogonadism (or low testosterone).  Yet, to date, there have not been any nationally-representative studies of the prevalence of low testosterone in the United States.  Using a validated national health examination program from the CDC, we found that the national prevalence of low testosterone (serum testosterone ≤ 300 ng/dL) in adult males in the US was 28.9%.  Among other factors, men who were older, had a higher body mass index (BMI), or had a larger waist circumference were at risk for having lower testosterone levels.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Dupree: For the first time, we now have nationally-representative data on the prevalence of low testosterone in United States.  It’s important that low testosterone alone is not used as the sole reason for a man to seek treatment.  In order for a man to start medications for low testosterone, he should also have symptoms of low testosterone.  If a man is concerned that he has low testosterone levels (also known as clinical hypogonadism), he should speak with his doctor about his symptoms.  Patients and clinicians can also use this data to recognizable that modifiable factors like BMI and waist circumference are likely related to testosterone levels.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Dupree: It has been well established that low testosterone levels are a necessary but not sufficient reason for a man to start taking medications for clinical hypogonadism.  In order to begin treatment, a man should also have symptoms consistent with hypogonadism.  We were not able to evaluate hypogonadal symptoms in our study, so future studies should work to establish national prevalence numbers for symptoms of hypogonadism and testosterone levels, both of which are needed to guide treatment decisions.

Citation:

PREVALENCE OF LOW TESTOSTERONE IN A POPULATION BASED, NATIONALLY REPRESENTATIVE SURVEY
James Dupree*, Chang He, Dana Ohl, Ann Arbor, MI, Larry Lipshultz, Houston, TX, Aruna Sarma, Ann Arbor, MI
American Urological AssociationSunday, May 17, 2015 1:00 PM-3:00 PM
NOMCC: 208-210 
Sexual Function/Dysfunction/Andrology: Evaluation II