Author(s): Gooren L
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Abstract There is now convincing evidence that in a subset of aging men, increasing with age, plasma testosterone levels fall below a critical level resulting in hypogonadism. This state of testosterone deficiency has an impact on bone, muscle and brain function and is maybe a factor in the accumulation of visceral fat which again has a significant impact on the cardiovascular risk profile. From the above it follows that androgen replacement to selected men with proven androgen deficiency will have beneficial effects. There is, however a concern that androgen administration to aging men may be harmful in view of effects on prostate disease. Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer are typically diseases of the aging male, steeply increasing with age. But epidemiological studies provide no clues that the levels of circulating androgen are correlated with or predict prostate disease. Similarly, androgen replacement studies in men do not suggest that these men suffer in a higher degree from prostate disease than control subjects. It seems a defensible practice to treat aging men with androgens if and when they are testosterone-deficient, but long-term studies including sufficient numbers of men are needed.
This article was published in J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research