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Testosterone Decline in Men Linked to Lifestyle, Increases in Obese Girls

The following highlights represent papers accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCE&M), as well as new patient information// provided by The Hormone Foundation, the public education affiliate of The Endocrine Society.

Lifestyle Accelerates Testosterone Decline

Testosterone concentrations in men normally decline with age, but a new study confirms that many health and lifestyle changes can significantly accelerate that decline. Research reveals that a Body Mass Index (BMI) increase of only 4-5 points had the same diminishing effect on total testosterone as approximately 10 years of aging. A similar decline in testosterone was also associated with a traumatic emotional event, such as the loss of a spouse. “Understanding this phenomenon is important because low levels of testosterone may contribute to such conditions as diabetes, reduced bone and muscle mass, impaired sexual function, and a generally decreased quality of life,” said Thomas G. Travison, PhD, lead author of the study.

The researchers analyzed data on 1,667 subjects enrolled in the Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS), a longitudinal study of men’s health and endocrine functioning. The MMAS tracked subjects’ history of chronic illness, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, dietary intake, and physical activity.

This study provides compelling evidence that specific changes in health and lifestyle – such as an increase in BMI – are accompanied by an accelerated loss of serum testosterone. While these lifestyle changes cannot be proven to be the cause of associated testosterone declines, they appear at least as significant as – if not more than -- short to mid-term aging effects. These results suggest the possibility that age-related hormone decline could be minimized by managing health and lifestyle factors.

Obesity More than Doubles Testosterone in Pubertal Girls

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