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Low Testosterone in Older Men Less Common Than Thought
Date:6/16/2010

Study does find some association between nine symptoms and 'male menopause'

WEDNESDAY, June 16 (HealthDay News) -- In describing a set of concrete symptoms for "male menopause" for the first time, British researchers have also determined that only about 2 percent of men aged 40 to 80 suffer from the condition, far less than previously thought.

Male menopause, also called "andropause" or late-onset hypogonadism, supposedly results from declines in testosterone production that occur later in life, but there has been some debate on how real the phenomenon is, the study authors noted.

"Some aging men indeed suffer from [male menopause]. It is a genuine syndrome, but much less common than previously assumed," concluded Dr. Ilpo Huhtaniemi, senior author of a study published online June 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"This is important because it demonstrates that genuine symptomatic androgen deficiencies [androgens are male hormones] is less common than believed, and that only the right patients [should] get androgen treatment," added Huhtaniemi, a professor of reproductive endocrinology in the department of surgery and cancer at Imperial College London.

Many men have been taking testosterone supplements to combat the perceived effects of aging, even though it's not clear if taking these supplements help or if they're even safe. The result has been mass confusion, not only as to whether male menopause exists but also how to treat it.

"A lot of people abuse testosterone who shouldn't and a lot of men who should get it aren't," said Dr. Michael Hermans, an associate professor of surgery in the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine and chief of the section of andrology, male sexual dysfunction and male infertility at Scott & White in Temple, Texas.

For this study, the research team, from Imperial College London and the University of Manchester, measur
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