Men with low testosterone levels go untreated: study

May 27th, 2008 - 12:39 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, May 27 (IANS) Access to medicare does not always ensure treatment for men with “androgen deficiency” - a condition that results in low libido, erectile dysfunction and osteoporosis. Such deficiency, which implies lower amounts of male hormones, including testosterone, also causes sleep disturbance, depression and tiredness, according to a new study.

Although prescriptions for testosterone therapy for ageing men have increased, treatment patterns for androgen deficiency are not clearly understood, the study found.

“The reasons for this are unknown but could be due to unrecognised androgen deficiency or unwillingness to prescribe testosterone therapy,” according to Susan A. Hall of the New England Research Institutes, who led the study.

Hall and colleagues examined data collected from 1,486 men (average age 46.4) to estimate the numbers being treated for androgen deficiency.

A total of 97 men met the criteria for having androgen deficiency. Eighty-six men were symptomatic and untreated, and 11 were prescribed testosterone treatment.

“Men were using the following: testosterone gel, testosterone patch, testosterone cream, testosterone cypionate (an injectable form of testosterone) or unspecified formulations of testosterone,” the study noted.

It found that men with untreated androgen deficiency were the most likely to have low socio-economic status, to have no health insurance and to receive primary care in an emergency department or hospital outpatient clinic.

“Under our assumptions, a large majority (87.8 percent) of 97 men in our groups with androgen deficiency were not receiving treatment despite adequate access to care,” the study concluded.

Findings of the study are slated to appear in the forthcoming issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

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