Nav: Home

Researchers: Testosterone treatment effective for older men

February 18, 2016

As men age, their sexual function, vitality and strength can decline, but researchers had not yet established whether testosterone treatment is actually beneficial. Now, a team that included UF Health researchers has established testosterone's benefits in a study published yesterday (Feb. 17, 2016) in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The paper examines the first three of seven trials in a long-term study called The Testosterone Trials, or the TTrials. In this first study, researchers analyzed the results of the first three trials, which examined sexual function, physical function and vitality, including mood and depressive symptoms, walking speed and walking distance.

The researchers found that the treatment increased the blood testosterone level from moderately low to mid-normal in men ages 19-40 and improved all aspects of sexual function, including sexual activity, sexual desire and the ability to get an erection.

"The study reinforced the results we expected to see, except for walking speed," said Marco Pahor, M.D., the director of the UF Institute on Aging and a co-author of the paper.

In 2003, the Institute of Medicine reported there was not enough evidence to support a beneficial effect of testosterone in men who have low levels of the hormone. This report was the impetus for the TTrials, which are now the largest trials to examine the use of testosterone treatment in men 65 and older whose low testosterone levels can be attributed to age alone.

"The results of the TTrials show for the first time that testosterone treatment of older men who have unequivocally low testosterone levels does have some benefit," said Peter J. Snyder, M.D., the principal investigator of the TTrials and a professor in the division of endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. "However, decisions about testosterone treatment for these men will also depend on the results of four other trials -- Cognitive Function, Bone, Cardiovascular and Anemia -- and the risks of testosterone treatment."

Researchers screened 51,085 men and found 790 who had a sufficiently low testosterone level to be part of the study. The subjects were randomized into two groups: one that applied a daily testosterone gel and the other a daily placebo gel, for one year. The researchers evaluated participants at three, six, nine and 12 months, assessing their sexual function with questionnaires; physical function with questionnaires and the distance walked in six minutes; and vitality, mood and depressive symptoms using questionnaires.

Across the three trials, adverse events including heart attack, stroke, other cardiovascular events and prostate conditions were similar in men who received testosterone and those who received a placebo. However, the number of men in the TTrials was too small to draw conclusions about the risk of testosterone treatment.

"A larger and longer-term trial will be needed to have more definitive results regarding safety," Pahor said. "However, this trial did not confirm earlier, smaller trials that raised serious concerns regarding cardiovascular safety."
-end-
The TTrials were conducted at UF and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania as well as 11 other sites, including Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Puget Sound Health Care System, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and Yale School of Medicine.

The TTrials were supported by grant U01 AG030644 from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health. The TTrials were also supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute; the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke; and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. AbbVie, formerly Solvay and Abbott Laboratories, also provided funding, AndroGel and placebo gel.

University of Florida

Related Testosterone Articles:

Testosterone makes men less likely to question their impulses
A new study shows that testosterone makes men less likely to realize when they're wrong.
Testosterone treatments may increase cardiac risks
A new JAMA study found a 20 percent increase in arterial plaque among men aged 65 and older who received testosterone replacement therapy for a year,
Benefits of testosterone therapy in older men are mixed
Older men with low testosterone levels showed improved bone density and strength, as well as reduced anemia, after one year of testosterone therapy, according to a new study conducted at Yale and other sites.
Testosterone therapy provides protection against cardiovascular disease in men with low testosterone
Despite the continued controversy surrounding the use of testosterone in men who have testosterone deficiency (hypogonadism), a new study has found that long-term use of testosterone therapy not only improves vigor and vitality, but may reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular (CV) disease.
Enzyme that digests vitamin A also may regulate testosterone levels
Bco1, an enzyme that metabolizes beta carotene, may play a vital role in testosterone metabolism as well, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Illinois.
'Mean girl' meerkats can make twice as much testosterone as males
Testosterone. It's often lauded as the hormone that makes males bigger, bolder, stronger.
Experts take strong stance on testosterone deficiency and treatment
In an effort to address widespread concerns related to testosterone deficiency (TD) and its treatment with testosterone therapy, a group of international experts has developed a set of resolutions and conclusions to provide clarity for physicians and patients.
Scientists develop recipe for testosterone-producing cells
Researchers led by teams at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Wenzhou Medical University of China have discovered a way to keep adult stem cells that are destined to become testosterone-producing cells multiplying and on track to fulfill their fate, a new study reports.
Testosterone therapy decreases hospital readmissions in older men with low testosterone
A new large-scale population-based study from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston showed for the first time that older men using testosterone therapy were less likely to have complications that require them to go back to the hospital within a month of being discharged than men not using this therapy.
Researchers: Testosterone treatment effective for older men
As men age, their sexual function, vitality and strength can decline, but researchers had not yet established whether testosterone treatment is actually beneficial.

Related Testosterone Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".