A new study conducted by researchers at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor suggests low levels of the male hormone testosterone – hypogonadism, testosterone deficiency, or “low T” – which have been associated with chronic health problems, sexual health issues, and reduced muscle mass in older men, may affect younger men as well, perhaps due to rising rates of obesity and physical inactivity.
For this study, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine hypogonadism prevalence in men of all ages. Of the men surveyed, 2,161 provided information about age and other demographic factors, chronic disease diagnoses, and medical test results including blood samples to measure total testosterone and cardiometabolic risk factors, and grip strength.
The researchers then examined the prevalence of chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, arthritis, heart and lung disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and depression in these men. They also studied the prevalence of multi-morbidity – the presence of two or more chronic conditions – in three age groups (young, middle-aged, and older). According to the researchers, low testosterone was associated with multi-morbidity in all men, but was more prevalent in young and older men with low T.
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