New Horizons in Testosterone and the Ageing Male

Tomás Ahern; Frederick C. W. Wu


Age Ageing. 2015;44(2):188-195. 

In This Article

Adverse Effects of Low Testosterone Levels

A commonly used definition of a low testosterone level is a level that is below the 2.5 percentile of testosterone levels in young, healthy adult men.[20,21] Prospective observational studies of older men show that men with low testosterone levels have a substantially increased risk of developing depressive illness.[22] Low testosterone confers also an increased development of poor physical function[23] and frailty,[24] although this relationship becomes non-significant when one adjusts for chronic illness.[24,25]

Men with low testosterone levels have a higher incidence of T2DM and a higher prevalence of CVD than men with normal testosterone levels.[26,27] It is likely that obesity, which is associated with low testosterone, T2DM and CVD, plays a role in this relationship. This relationship between testosterone and obesity is likely bidirectional, with obesity effecting a decline in testosterone levels as described above and low testosterone levels increasing the risk of obesity, T2DM and CVD.