Testosterone replacement therapy in older men may reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers have revealed.
Two new studies have revealed that testosterone replacement benefits older men with low testosterone.
Testosterone deficiency becomes more common with age, occurring in 18 percent of 70-year-olds, said a co-author of both studies, Farid Saad, PhD, of Berlin-headquartered Bayer Schering Pharma.
The first study led by Saad showed that restoring testosterone to normal levels in hypogonadal, or testosterone-deficient, men led to major and improvements metabolic syndrome.
Also men above 63 years of age benefited as much as younger men, they found. Treatment lasted a year and used a slow-release, injectable form of the hormone (testosterone undecanoate) that is not yet available in the United States.
They found that testosterone treatment significantly reduced waist circumference, total cholesterol, LDL ("bad") cholesterol, triglycerides, and body mass index (a measure of body fat).
Saad said that the treatment also increased "good" cholesterol. Improvements were progressive over 12 months, indicating that benefits may continue past a year.
For the second study, the researchers divided the patient population into three groups by age: less than 57 years, 57 to 63 years, and more than 63 years. They found that the oldest men had similar improvements in metabolic risk factors to the youngest men.
"We conclude that if elderly men have a deficiency of testosterone, it is worthwhile to treat them with testosterone," said Saad.