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Annu Rev Med. 2005;56:117-37.

Andropause: is androgen replacement therapy indicated for the aging male?

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas, USA.


The number of men in the United States > or =65 years of age is projected to increase from 14,452,000 in 2000 to 31,343,000 in 2030. Approximately 30% of men 60-70 years of age and 70% of men 70-80 years of age have low bioavailable or free testosterone levels. Symptoms and findings of testosterone deficiency are similar to those associated with aging. They include loss of energy, depressed mood, decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass and strength, increased fat mass, frailty, osteopenia, and osteoporosis. Several small clinical trials indicate that testosterone replacement therapy can improve many of these findings; however, the studies have not been powered to assess potential risks, such as the need for invasive treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, development of a clinical prostate cancer, or cardiovascular events. Thus, the benefit/risk ratio of testosterone replacement therapy in aging men is not known.

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