Low Testosterone Diagnosis and Treatment
24. Low Testosterone Could Be Killing You
Per Cent More Likely to Die
The recent medical literature shows that low
testosterone is associated with increased mortality.(1-3) One study, published in 2008, tracked 800
California men 50 to 91 years old.
Testosterone levels were measured at the beginning of the study, and the
men’s health was tracked over 20 years.
Low testosterone symptoms reported by these men included decreased
libido, erectile dysfunction, fatigue, loss of strength, decrease in bone
density and decreased muscle mass. The
men with low testosterone tended to be overweight, and had increased risk for
cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Men with the lowest testosterone, below
241 total serum level, had a FORTY
percent increase in mortality.(2) I
find this astounding.
Above Left Image: Testosterone chemical structure,
courtesy of wikimedia commons.
Study of EPIC Proportions
authors of the EPIC Study published in Circulation 2007 said,
" In men, endogenous testosterone
concentrations are inversely related to mortality due to cardiovascular disease
and all causes. Low testosterone may be a predictive marker for those at high
risk of cardiovascular disease."(9)
Blocking Drugs Increase Mortality
A study by Dr. Amy Dosoretz, a radiation
oncology resident with the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in Boston showed
that patients treated with the testosterone blocking drugs to
"knock out testosterone to shrink the prostate" had a poor
outcome. They had a 20% increase
in mortality.(6)(7) A discovery such as this, that a treatment
that carries a 20 per cent increased mortality means the treatment is
discredited and should be discarded, and should no longer be the "standard
of care". Instead it should be considered "substandard
care". However, old habits in
medicine have a way of lingering on, so it may take a few more years for this
FDA Approval Would Be Denied
FDA approval requires a drug to produce a benefit greater than
placebo. Had Amy Doseretz' study been submitted to the FDA for drug
approval, the FDA would never have been granted approval for the use
of the testosterone blocker, Lupron™, for prostate cancer. A detrimental
result of 20 per cent increased mortality would spell disaster, and
the FDA approval would be denied.
Other Study Confirms Findings
Dr Amy Dosoretz was not the first to raise doubts about the benefits of testosterone
blockade (used as a treatment for prostate cancer). A previous study by
Grace L. Lu-Yao was published JAMA 2008 showing that androgen deprivation
therapy is not associated with improved survival. (8)
a low testosterone level is associated with 40% increased mortality. Blocking testosterone levels with drugs is
associated with a 20% increased mortality.
For references and links, see my web site: www.bioidenticalhormones101.com
Chapter 24. Low Testosterone
Could Be Killing You
(1)http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/93/1/68 Low Serum Testosterone and
Mortality in Male Veterans Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:1660-1665 Molly M. Shores,
MD; Alvin M. Matsumoto, MD; Kevin L. Sloan, MD; Daniel R. Kivlahan, PhD .
(2) http://jcem.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/93/1/68 The Journal of Clinical
Endocrinology & Metabolism 2008 Jan;93(1):68-75. Low Serum Testosterone and
Mortality in Older Men. Gail A. Laughlin, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor and Jaclyn
Low Testosterone Could Kill You. Low Levels of Male Hormone May be More
Dangerous Than Previously Thought By SUPINDA BUNYAVANICH, M.D. ABC News Medical
Unit June 6, 2007
(4) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/153822.php Testosterone Replacement For Men
With Low Testosterone Improves Liver Function, Metabolic Syndrome. Medical News Today. June 13, 2009.
(5) http://www.news-medical.net/news/2008/03/04/35897.aspx Low testosterone levels linked
to depression in older men March 2008. Medical Net News.
(6) http://www.prostatecancerissues.com/ms/news/619639/main.html Hormone Therapy Not Best for Older Prostate
Cancer Patients. Study found giving it before radiation raised death risk 20%
in this group By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter. TUESDAY, Sept. 23
(7) http://www.docguide.com/news/content.nsf/news/852571020057CCF6852574CE006F3F4A Hormone Therapy Before Brachytherapy May
Increase Mortality in Prostate Cancer: Presented at ASTRO By Martha Kerr, BSN BOSTON
-- September 24, 2008 -- [Presentation title: Mortality in Men Age 70 or More
With Localized Prostate Cancer Treated With Brachytherapy With or Without
Neoadjuvant Hormonal Therapy. Abstract 84]
(8) http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/300/2/173 Survival Following Primary
Androgen Deprivation Therapy Among Men With Localized Prostate Cancer. Grace L.
Lu-Yao, MPH, PhD; Peter C. Albertsen, MD; Dirk F. Moore, PhD; Weichung Shih,
PhD; Yong Lin, PhD; Robert S. DiPaola, MD; Siu-Long Yao, MD . JAMA.
(9) http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/short/116/23/2694 Circulation. 2007;116:2694-2701. Endogenous
Testosterone and Mortality Due to All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and
Cancer in Men. European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer in Norfolk
(EPIC-Norfolk) Prospective Population Study. Kay-Tee Khaw, MBBChir, FRCP; Mitch
Dowsett, PhD; Elizabeth Folkerd, PhD; Sheila Bingham, PhD; Nicholas Wareham,
MBBS, PhD; Robert Luben, BSc; Ailsa Welch, PhD; Nicholas Day, PhD