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Studies Support Testosterone Supplements for Older Men
Date:6/17/2008

Low levels of the hormone could boost death risk, researchers say

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- Low testosterone levels put men at high risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early death, but testosterone replacement therapy may help better the odds, according to new studies.

Some experts believe that low testosterone levels, which become more common with age, are linked to several health conditions. These include loss of bone and muscle mass, depression, decreased libido, and, most important, the metabolic syndrome -- a cluster risk factors that increase the chances of developing heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.

The studies, all of which were expected to be presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting, in San Francisco, suggest that therapy to raise testosterone back to normal levels may have several positive effects.

One study showed that testosterone treatment significantly reduced abdominal fat, total cholesterol, LDL ("bad") cholesterol, triglycerides and body mass index (a measure of body fat). It also helped raise HDL ("good") cholesterol.

Researchers in a second study found that men older than 63 benefited as much as younger men.

"We conclude that if elderly men have a deficiency of testosterone, it is worthwhile to treat them with testosterone," co-author of both studies, Farid Saad of Berlin-headquartered Bayer Schering Pharma -- a drug company that makes a form of testosterone therapy -- said in a prepared interview.

A third study added to previous evidence that low testosterone increases one's chance of early death from any cause in the long run.

In the study, funded in part by drug maker Novo Nordisc, researchers looked the causes of death in almost 2,000 German men aged 20 to 79 years. The men with low testosterone at the start of study, which had an average follow up period of 7 years, had a more than 2.5 times greate
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