Recognising the true value of testosterone therapy in health care
Keywords:testosterone therapy, hypogonadism
There has been little recognition within the medical community of the health impact of testosterone (T) deficiency (TD), also known as hypogonadism, and the substantial benefits of testosterone therapy (TTh) on health and quality of life despite high-level clinical evidence. In a roundtable symposium, investigators summarized the contemporary evidence in several key clinical areas. TD negatively impacts human health and quality of life and is associated with increased mortality. Several studies have demonstrated that TTh in men with TD reduced all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. The longstanding belief that TTh is associated with increased prostate cancer (PCa) risk is contradicted by recent evidence, including multiple studies showing that TTh is associated with reduced PCa risk. Similarly, the weight of current evidence indicates the purported concern that TTh is associated with increased cardiovascular risk is incorrect. Normalisation of physiological T reduces myocardial infarction, stroke, and deaths compared with men whose testosterone levels failed to normalize. In diabetic men TTh improves insulin resistance, and a large 2-year controlled study in men with abnormal glucose tolerance showed a substantially reduced rate of diabetes among men treated with TTh compared with untreated controls. Long-term TTh in diabetic men resulted in progressive improvements in obesity and insulin requirements, including a substantial number who experienced complete remission of diabetes. Finally, TTh has been shown to reduce severe outcomes with COVID-19 infection. These lines of evidence argue strongly for the need for greater awareness in the medical community of the impact of TD on health, and of the health benefits of TTh.