A recent study has revealed that treating testosterone levels in older men can be hugely beneficial.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and conducted by a team of researchers from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania along with 12 other medical centers, shows that sexual function, walking ability and mood were significantly improved in men over 65 years of age after undergoing testosterone treatment.
Around 800 men of age 65 above were involved in the study carried out in 12 centers across the nation; according to Penn Medicine News Release, these centers were Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Puget Sound Health Care System, University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, University of Florida School of Medicine, University of Minnesota School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and Yale School of Medicine.
Those taking part in the study had low levels of testosterone. They were assigned to rub testosterone gel or fake gel on their skin for a year; they were also asked to fill out questionnaires and undergo a walking test of six minutes.
The first three trials – Sexual Function, Physical Function and Vitality – of a group of seven trials, also called the Testosterone Trials, were analyzed by scientists. Testosterone treatment led to an improvement in the blood testosterone level, reaching mid-normal level for young men. Other facets, like sexual activity, sexual desire and the ability to get erection, were also found to be enhanced. While energy levels were not improved, the treatment did show an improvement in mood and depressive symptoms.
As reported by NBC News, Dr. Peter Snyder of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the people who helped with the study, said, “This was the first time that a trial demonstrated that testosterone treatment of men over 65 who have low testosterone would benefit them in any way. The trial showed that testosterone treatment of these men improved their sexual function, their mood, and reduced depressive symptoms—and perhaps also improved walking.”
A study conducted by UCLA in 2014 showed that men of ages 65 and above stood at double the risk of heart attacks within 90 days of starting testosterone treatment. For those who were younger than 65 and had a history of heart diseases, the risk was three times. Dr. Steve Nissen, cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, speaking with CBS News, said, “We don’t know very much about this therapy. What’s going on is a giant experiment with American men’s health at stake because we don’t have the long-term data on the safety of these products.”
The AndroGel, provided by BBVie Pharmaceuticals, was used for the study. It also helped pay for the study. Libby Holman, spokeswoman for the company, said the research was an “important contribution” to understanding the benefits of testosterone treatment.