Journal Article

New horizons in testosterone and the ageing male

Tomás Ahern and Frederick C. W. Wu

in Age and Ageing

Volume 44, issue 2, pages 188-195
Published in print March 2015 | ISSN: 0002-0729
Published online February 2015 | e-ISSN: 1468-2834 | DOI:
New horizons in testosterone and the ageing male

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The fall in testosterone levels with age appears to be a real phenomenon. Declining testicular function and hypothalamic dysregulation appear to be the mechanisms explaining the fall in testosterone levels with age. The increased prevalence of obesity and chronic illness in ageing men both cause a large drop in testosterone levels independent of ageing. Age-related hypogonadism appears to be different to other ‘classical’ causes of hypogonadism. Testosterone levels are not unequivocally low and associated symptoms are non-specific. In frail older men with low testosterone levels, testosterone therapy appears to improve QOL and physical function. In less frail men, however, effects of testosterone therapy in the ageing male are small and/or inconsistent. There remains an urgent need for randomised clinical trials with sufficient size, duration and power to determine specific benefits and risks of testosterone therapy in older men.

Keywords: ageing; hypogonadism; older people; testosterone

Journal Article.  4285 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Geriatric Medicine

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