Young men with type 2 diabetes have significantly low levels of testosterone, which can have a critical effect on their quality of life and on their ability to father children, according to a study led by Indian origin researchers.
The team comprising of Paresh Dandona, Ph.D., University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicine, study's senior author and Anil Chandel, M.D., UB clinical assistant instructor that showed that one-third of middle-aged men with type 2 diabetes have low testosterone levels, requiring treatment for erectile dysfunction.
The study was conducted in 38 men with type 1 diabetes and 24 men with type 2 diabetes who were referred to the Diabetes-Endocrinology Clinic of Western New York at Millard Fillmore Hospital of Kaleida Health, where Dandona is chief of the Division of Endocrinology.
The average age of men in the type 1 and type 2 groups was 26 and 27, respectively, with a range of 18-35 years.
The researchers found that type 2 diabetics had half the amount of total and free testosterone in their blood as their type 1 counterparts.
"These new findings have several clinical implications besides the impairment of sexual function in these young men," said Dandona.
"The lack of testosterone during these critical years may lead to diminished bone mass and the lack of development or lose of skeletal muscle. In addition, these patients may gain more weight (with an average body mass index of 38 they already were obese) and become more insulin resistant.
"Also, patients with low testosterone and type 2 diabetes have been shown to have very high concentrations of C reactive protein, which increases their risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease above and beyond the risk associated with diabetes," he added.
Patients with below-normal testosterone also had low levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which are released by the pituitary gland and are essential for testosterone secretion and normal fertility
The research team also included Sandeep Dhindsa, M.D.; Shehzad Topiwala, M.D.; and Ajay Chaudhuri,.
The new study appears in the online edition of Diabetes Care.