Effects of Testosterone Treatment in Older Men
This study, published in 2016, evaluated 760 men 65 and old (age) with a serum testosterone level <275 ng/dL and symptoms of low testosterone. They randomized these men to receive either testosterone gel or placebo for 1 year. Testosterone levels in the treatment group did increase to the “mid-normal range for men 19 to 40 years of age.” These increased levels were associated with “significantly increased sexual activity” as well as increased sexual desire and erectile function.
They also performed a 6-minute walking distance test. The testosterone treatment group did demonstrate that 20.5% of men increased their distance by at least 50 meters vs 12.6% in the treatment group. The testosterone group reported better mood and less depression than the placebo group. There were no significant differences between the 2 groups with respect to adverse events.
The authors felt that the study size was too small to “draw conclusions about the risks of testosterone treatment.”
This study is one of the larger placebo controlled trials to proactively evaluate testosterone replacement with 760 men. While they felt that they couldn’t draw conclusions about the risks, I believe it is noteworthy that there was no differences between the 2 groups. This is especially important given the ‘controversy’ regarding testosterone and cardiovascular disease and the fact that many study results are conflicting.
- Snyder PJ, Bhasin S, Cunningham GR, Matsumoto AM, Stephens-Shields AJ, Cauley JA, Gill TM, Barrett-Connor E, Swerdloff RS, Wang C, Ensrud KE, Lewis CE, Farrar JT, Cella D, Rosen RC, Pahor M, Crandall JP, Molitch ME, Cifelli D, Dougar D, Fluharty L, Resnick SM, Storer TW, Anton S, Basaria S, Diem SJ, Hou X, Mohler ER 3rd, Parsons JK, Wenger NK, Zeldow B, Landis JR, Ellenberg SS; Testosterone Trials Investigators. Effects of Testosterone Treatment in Older Men. N Engl J Med. 2016 Feb 18;374(7):611-24.