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Testosterone for the aging male; current evidence and recommended practice

Authors Stanworth RD, Jones T H

Published 7 March 2008 Volume 2008:3(1) Pages 25—44


Roger D Stanworth, T Hugh Jones

Centre of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom; Academic Unit of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Abstract: An international consensus document was recently published and provides guidance on the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) in men. The diagnosis of LOH requires biochemical and clinical components. Controversy in defining the clinical syndrome continues due to the high prevalence of hypogonadal symptoms in the aging male population and the non-specific nature of these symptoms. Further controversy surrounds setting a lower limit of normal testosterone, the limitations of the commonly available total testosterone result in assessing some patients and the unavailability of reliable measures of bioavailable or free testosterone for general clinical use. As with any clinical intervention testosterone treatment should be judged on a balance of risk versus benefit. The traditional benefits of testosterone on sexual function, mood, strength and quality of life remain the primary goals of treatment but possible beneficial effects on other parameters such as bone density, obesity, insulin resistance and angina are emerging and will be reviewed. Potential concerns regarding the effects of testosterone on prostate disease, aggression and polycythaemia will also be addressed. The options available for treatment have increased in recent years with the availability of a number of testosterone preparations which can reliably produce physiological serum concentrations.

Keywords: review, testosterone, male, aging

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