Low Testosterone Levels Can Increase Your Risk for Chronic Conditions

low testosterone levels can increase your risk for chronic conditions

A recent study has revealed a strong association between declining testosterone levels and development of two or more chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, arthritis and type-2 diabetes.

Unfortunately, these conditions might also occur in men with reduced testosterone levels even if they are below 40 years. These shocking revelations were made by a recent study, which analyzed the total testosterone level, age and the prevalence of various chronic conditions in a large U.S. adult male population.

Mark Peterson, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, explains that if we consider the results of the study at a population level, the chronic diseases are on the rise in older males. He also believes that physical inactivity and obesity might also be the reason behind declining testosterone levels in younger males.

The findings were recently published in the journal, Scientific reports. [1] Testosterone has always been believed to be just associated with sex-related development in men, but lately, there have been enough evidences that hormones do play an important role in various other bodily functions, both in males and females. Testosterone is also crucial for normal cardiovascular functioning and to maintain bone health.


Link Between Declining Testosterone Levels and Increased Risk of Several Diseases

Previous studies have already revealed that testosterone level declines in men as they age, and this decline is often associated with increased risk of chronic diseases that come along with obesity. This new study highlights the effects of testosterone on the overall health of males and how its decline can lead to various health conditions.

Peterson feels that this study has revealed a few surprising facts. According to him, the research also highlights what levels of testosterone are considered normal for men belonging to different age groups and what are the adverse effects of declining testosterone level on men’s risk of developing various chronic diseases later in life.

He further explains that the normal range of testosterone levels has already been defined, but this range was derived from previous studies on groups that are quite different from the ‘presently growing and ethnically diverse U.S. male population.’

Additionally, such studied did not include people, who had more than one chronic diseases or have chronic multimorbidity. Peterson and his colleagues designed the study in a way that they could analyze the relationship between chronic multimorbidity and declining testosterone levels. They took into consideration a large, ethnically diversified U.S. male population and closely studied the effects in various age groups.

More About the Research

The researchers utilized data provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. [2] The study analysis included 2,161 men with age 20 and above. The researchers calculated the prevalence of nine major chronic conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, clinical depression, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, pulmonary disease, high triglycerides, type-2 diabetes and stroke. Later they examined the occurrence of two or more of these chronic conditions in men of different age groups; both without and with testosterone deficiency.

Results indicated that men with testosterone deficiency had two or more of the above-mentioned chronic conditions when compared to men with normal testosterone levels. The results were striking in both young and older men. Peterson emphasizes that there was a considerable “dose-response” association and men must be concerned about their declining testosterone levels even if they are not as low as being considered clinically low. The levels of the clinically low testosterone, as referred by Peterson, is below 300 nanograms per deciliter.

While the study does not show that decline in testosterone levels causes chronic conditions, it still encourages scientists to research further and find more about less explored aspects of the hormones. The researchers feel that this study will increase men’s awareness about the importance of testosterone as many men out there are not aware that its deficiency could lead to various chronic conditions. The declining testosterone levels might contribute to decline in men’s overall health and increase risk of various chronic diseases.

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