Excessive testosterone raises mortality risk in older men

November 20, 2013

Older men whose testosterone levels were neither low nor high tended to live longer, according to new research accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Testosterone is a key male sex hormone involved in maintaining sex drive, sperm production and bone health. Physicians have long known that can signal health problems, but the new study found men may not fare better when levels of the hormone rise too high.

"Older men who had in the middle range survived longer than their counterparts who had either low or high levels of the hormone," said the study's lead author, Bu Beng Yeap, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, of the University of Western Australia, based in Fremantle Hospital, Western Australia. "When the body metabolizes testosterone, it produces dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is tied to a lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease. Having the right amount of testosterone and higher levels of DHT might indicate these men are in better health overall, or it could help them maintain good health as they grow older."

The population-based cohort study analyzed the mortality rate in a group of 3,690 community-dwelling men between the ages of 70 to 89 in Perth, Western Australia. Participants' testosterone and DHT levels were measured between 2001 and 2004. Researchers analyzed the group's survival rate as of December 2010.

Researchers divided the men into four groups based on their testosterone levels. Men with the lowest testosterone levels had the highest cumulative mortality rate, followed by the men with the highest testosterone levels. Men with circulating in the 9.8 to 15.8 nmol/L range tended to live longer.

"Sex hormones are an important predictor of mortality in , but we haven't determined if treatments to change testosterone and DHT levels can alter these outcomes," Yeap said. "Additional research into these findings, including randomized clinical trials, could help identify ways to leverage this information to improve health in older ."

Explore further: Low testosterone may be linked to heart problems

Related Stories

Low testosterone may be linked to heart problems

September 24, 2013
Men who have low testosterone levels may have a slightly elevated risk of developing or dying from heart disease, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology ...

Testosterone therapy following angiography associated with increased risk of adverse outcome

November 5, 2013
Among a group of men who underwent coronary angiography and had a low serum testosterone level, the use of testosterone therapy was associated with increased risk of death, heart attack, or ischemic stroke, according to a ...

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.

More testosterone increases prostate cancer risk in older men: study

July 26, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Older men - those in their 70s and 80s - with higher levels of testosterone, including those who undergo hormone replacement therapy, are at an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to new research.  

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

June 23, 2012
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 ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Immune cells produce wound healing factor, could lead to new IBD treatment

September 20, 2017
Specific immune cells have the ability to produce a healing factor that can promote wound repair in the intestine, a finding that could lead to new, potential therapeutic treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according ...

Researchers find way to convert bad body fat into good fat

September 19, 2017
There's good fat and bad fat in our bodies. The good fat helps burn calories, while the bad fat hoards calories, contributing to weight gain and obesity. Now, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. ...

New model may help science overcome the brain's fortress-like barrier

September 19, 2017
Scientists have helped provide a way to better understand how to enable drugs to enter the brain and how cancer cells make it past the blood brain barrier.

Cell-based therapy success could be boosted by new antioxidant

September 19, 2017
Cell therapies being developed to treat a range of conditions could be improved by a chemical compound that aids their survival, research suggests.

Study suggests epilepsy drug can be used to treat form of dwarfism

September 19, 2017
A drug used to treat conditions such as epilepsy has been shown in lab tests at The University of Manchester to significantly improve bone growth impaired by a form of dwarfism.

Research predicts how patients are likely to respond to DNA drugs

September 19, 2017
Research carried out by academics at Northumbria University, Newcastle could lead to improvements in treating patients with diseases caused by mutations in genes, such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and potentially up to 6,000 ...

0 comments

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.