Declining testosterone levels in men not part of normal aging, study finds

June 23, 2012, The Endocrine Society

A new study finds that a drop in testosterone levels over time is more likely to result from a man's behavioral and health changes than by aging. The study results will be presented Monday at The Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.

"Declining levels are not an inevitable part of the , as many people think," said study co-author Gary Wittert, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, Australia. "Testosterone changes are largely explained by smoking behavior and changes in health status, particularly obesity and depression."

Many have low levels of the sex , but the cause is not known. Few population-based studies have tracked changes in testosterone levels among the same over time, as their study did, Wittert said.

In this study, supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the authors analyzed testosterone measurements in more than 1,500 men who had measurements taken at two clinic visits five years apart. All blood testosterone samples underwent testing at the same time for each time point, according to Wittert.

After the researchers excluded from the analysis any men who had abnormal lab values or who were taking medications or had medical conditions known to affect hormones, they included 1,382 men in the data analysis. Men ranged in age from 35 to 80 years, with an average age of 54.

On average, testosterone levels did not decline significantly over five years; rather, they decreased less than 1 percent each year, the authors reported. However, when the investigators analyzed the data by subgroups, they found that certain factors were linked to lower testosterone levels at five years than at the beginning of the study.

"Men who had declines in testosterone were more likely to be those who became obese, had stopped smoking or were depressed at either clinic visit," Wittert said. "While stopping smoking may be a cause of a slight decrease in testosterone, the benefit of quitting smoking is huge."

Past research has linked depression and low testosterone. This hormone is important for many bodily functions, including maintaining a healthy body composition, fertility and sex drive. "It is critical that doctors understand that declining are not a natural part of aging and that they are most likely due to health-related behaviors or health status itself," he said.

Unmarried men in the study had greater testosterone reductions than did married men. Wittert attributed this finding to past research showing that married men tend to be healthier and happier than unmarried men. "Also, regular sexual activity tends to increase testosterone," he explained.

Explore further: Older age does not cause testosterone levels to decline in healthy men

Related Stories

Older age does not cause testosterone levels to decline in healthy men

June 7, 2011
A decline in testosterone levels as men grow older is likely the result—not the cause—of deteriorating general health, say Australian scientists, whose new study finds that age, in itself, has no effect on testosterone ...

Surgery-related weight loss in men reverses testosterone deficiency

June 4, 2011
Low testosterone levels and symptoms of male sexual dysfunction due to obesity may be reversible with weight loss after bariatric surgery, a new study finds.

Study refutes testosterone as 'fountain of youth'

October 21, 2011
A new study of older Western Australian men has revealed that testosterone might not be the fountain of youth.

Older men with higher testosterone levels lose less muscle mass as they age

October 27, 2011
A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that higher levels of testosterone were associated with reduced loss of lean muscle mass in older ...

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Jun 23, 2012
In other studies, it was shown that men that have newborns experience drop in testosterone level.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.