Testosterone Replacement Therapy for Aging Males

Testosterone replacement therapy is a widespread and growing practice for treating low testosterone levels (androgen deficiency) in men but the effects of males receiving testosterone in managed continuous care environments haven’t been researched very much in the past.

However, a recent study is uncovering some exciting results. The purpose of the study was to describe the effects on men being given testosterone therapy while they are under continuous medical care.

How The Study was Conducted

The team identified patients who had received a testosterone prescription between January 1999 and December 2010 in Kaiser Permanente Southern California. The team only accepted data from patients who received testosterone therapy for androgen deficiency (low testosterone levels) and also rejected those who failed to meet the following criteria:

  • aged 30 or greater,
  • suffered no genetic indications,
  • didn’t suffer from hypothalamic or pituitary dysfunction, and
  • had no testicular or pituitary trauma.

Twelve months continuous membership of Kaiser program was needed prior to the start date of the study to be included. The team checked on the volunteers demographics, testosterone prescriptions, baseline diagnoses, total serum testosterone laboratory results, and physician specialty and all of this information was used in developing their conclusion.

The Results

Among the 10,159 testosterone users the average age was 56.8 years.

From 1999 thru to 2010, the treatment rate increased by 183% and number of prescriptions per patient increased by 22%.

The most frequently prescribed testosterone products were transdermal gels (55.7%), patches (26.2%), and intramuscular injections (14.4%).

The average extent of testosterone therapy was close to one year.

Baseline testosterone levels were obtained in 91.0% of patients and the mean serum testosterone level was 259.7 ng/dL.

Follow-up testosterone levels were tested in 59.8% of patients within one year of the start date.

The average increase from the baseline testosterone levels were:

  • 200.7 ng/dL for intramuscular injections – 77.0 percent increase.
  • 151.9 ng/dL for transdermal gels – 58.5 percent increase and
  • 118.0 ng/dL – a 45.4 percent increase for patches.

The most frequent problems diagnosed at the start of the research were:

  • hypertension (43.7%),
  • hyperlipidemia (43.1%),
  • erectile dysfunction (33.5%),
  • testicular dysfunction (26.7%), and
  • diabetes (20.3%).

Some Conclusions

Testosterone therapy is a rapidly increasing treatment among aging males – the number of treatments increased by almost 200% over the 11 years of the study and can, with ease, increase baseline testosterone levels – increased levels of testosterone ranges from a high of 200.7 to a low of 118.0.

Reference: http://www.clinmedres.org/content/11/3/141.2

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