The association between obesity and the diagnosis of androgen deficiency in symptomatic ageing men.Med J Aust. 2006 Oct 16; 185(8):424-7.MJ
To determine the influence of obesity on the diagnosis of age-related androgen deficiency (AD) in symptomatic men according to current Australian guidelines.
DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
A community-based cohort of healthy ageing men with symptoms suggestive of AD was studied between May 2001 and February 2003. Men were classified as obese or non-obese according to body mass index (BMI) or waist circumference (WC).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE
Diagnosis of AD according to Endocrine Society of Australia (ESA) guidelines.
223 men aged 54-86 years with mean BMI 27.3 +/- 0.2 kg/m2 (range 20.5-36.2 kg/m2) were recruited; 99 men were obese (BMI > or = 30.0 kg/m2 or WC > or = 102 cm) and 124 men were non-obese. Obese men had lower total testosterone (TT) (12.7 +/- 0.4 v 15.0 +/- 0.4 nmol/L); P < 0.001) and calculated free testosterone (275.7 +/- 7.8 v 299.3 +/- 7.4 pmol/L); P = 0.03) levels than non-obese men. TT levels < 8 nmol/L were recorded in 12% of obese men and 1% of non-obese men. Applying the ESA guidelines for the diagnosis of age-related AD, 15 obese men (15%) and 4 non-obese men (3%) were classified as being eligible for androgen therapy supported by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS); the relative risk in obese men was 1.92 (95% CI, 1.44-2.55; P < 0.001).
Obesity is an important determinant of serum TT levels in ageing men. Almost one in seven obese men but only one in 30 non-obese men in our study were eligible for PBS-supported androgen therapy according to Australian guidelines. Although obese men are more likely to have biochemical hypoandrogenism, the clinical implications of this remain uncertain. Studies of testosterone therapy in this group of ageing men are needed to determine whether androgen replacement is beneficial.