Testosterone Levels: Middle Range Better for Older Men

Dr Bu Beng Yeap MBBS, FRACP, PhD Professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia Endocrinologist, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Fremantle Hospital. School of Medicine and Pharmacology Level 2, T Block, Fremantle Hospital, Alma Street, Fremantle, Western Australia 6160, AustraliaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr Bu Beng Yeap MBBS, FRACP, PhD
Professor, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia
Endocrinologist, Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Fremantle Hospital.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings of the study?

Answer: We found that older men with testosterone levels in the middle of the range had the lowest mortality risk. Having a low testosterone level predicted higher mortality, and there was no benefit of having a high-normal testosterone level. Men with optimal rather than high testosterone levels lived longest.

The other important finding was that men with higher dihydrotestosterone levels had lower mortality from ischaemic heart disease, suggesting that androgens may protect against heart disease in older men.

MedicalResearch.com: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Answer:The U shaped association of testosterone levels with mortality risk was unexpected, as was the finding that dihydrotestosterone rather than testosterone was a robust biomarker for ischaemic heart disease deaths.

MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Answer: Having the right level of testosterone might be better than having a high level.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Answer: We need further studies including randomised controlled trials to determine whether testosterone would preserve health in ageing men.

Citation:

In Older Men an Optimal Plasma Testosterone Is Associated With Reduced All-Cause Mortality and Higher Dihydrotestosterone With Reduced Ischemic Heart Disease Mortality, While Estradiol Levels Do Not Predict Mortality

Bu B. Yeap, Helman Alfonso, S. A. Paul Chubb, David J. Handelsman, Graeme J. Hankey, Osvaldo P. Almeida, Jonathan Golledge, Paul E. Norman, and Leon Flicker

JCEM jc.2013-3272; doi:10.1210/jc.2013-3272