Testosterone and Men’s Health in the News


NPR has reported on the findings of five studies just released regarding the risks and benefits of testosterone replacement.

“The effectiveness of testosterone has been controversial,” says Patty Neighmond, health policy and consumer health correspondent for NPR. “Studies of the risks and benefits have been mixed, and the Food and Drug Administration beefed up its warnings about cardiac side effects of testosterone supplementation in 2015.”

“And the findings of five studies released Tuesday aren’t likely to clear up the confusion. They appear in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association and JAMA Internal Medicine.

“The studies are collectively called the Testosterone Trials (TTrials) and they compared a testosterone gel, AndroGel, against a placebo. The results are based on 788 men with below normal levels of testosterone studied at 12 sites across the country over a year.

“Overall, researchers saw improvements in bone density and bone strength in men who used a testosterone gel, which raised their testosterone to levels seen in younger men.

“In men with unexplained anemia, testosterone also improved iron levels in the blood. (A reviewer of the study raised questions about whether it was done ethically.)

“But in men using testosterone who had been reporting memory problems at the start of the study, there were no improvements in memory or cognition. And there were worrisome signs of an increase in the risk of cardiovascular problems.”

Read her full article, Does Testosterone Improve Older Men’s Health? It Depends. Follow her on Twitter @pneighmond.