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Study: Life expectancy shorter if testosterone level is low

According to research by the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine of the University of Greifswald, men with a low serum testosterone level die earlier.

As part of a population-based study carried out in Western Pomerania, Germany, the researchers looked at 1,954 men aged 29 to 79 for seven consecutive years. During this period, 195 members of the group passed away. On occasion of an initial examination at the start of the project, the best part of this number had already been attested a serum testosterone level below the average value for their respective age.
The researchers, who have already published their results in the “European Heart Journal”, therefore conclude that there must be a link between the testosterone level and mortality. However, they do not indicate that the lower serum testosterone level leads to an earlier death. On the contrary, the low level itself might only be a symptom of other metabolic problems.
The scientists found that 10 per cent of the participants in total showed a low testosterone level. Within this group, they witnessed an increased number of adiposis cases, malfunctions within the lipometabolism and liver degeneration. Additionally, the group stood out by its higher likelihood of contracting hypertension and adult onset diabetes.
Having said all this, it must also be stated that a decrease of testosterone levels is quite normal. From the age of 40, the level reduces by one or two per cent each year. This can lead to symptoms very much like the female menopause, including low physical efficiency, hot flashes or insomnia. Even the sex life can be negatively affected.
The authors of the study therefore advise not to shrug off decreasing testosterone levels but to examine each patient thoroughly, carry out an individual risk analysis and discuss the lifestyle if required. Also, paying a visit to an endocrinologist or an andrologist may be recommendable.

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