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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1990 Oct;71(4):963-9.

Secondary hypogonadism in older men: its relation to impotence.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024.


The relation of the reproductive endocrine system to impotence in older men was examined by measuring the concentrations of testosterone (T), bioavailable testosterone (BT), LH, and PRL and body mass index (BMI) in 57 young controls (YC), 50 healthy potent older controls attending a health fair (HF), and 267 impotent patients (SD). The SD and HF had markedly reduced mean T and BT values compared to YC. When adjusted for age and BMI there was no difference in BT between potent and impotent older men. The percent BT was much higher in YC than in the older groups. While the percent BT rose significantly with increased T in YC, it was inversely related to T in the older subjects, suggesting that increased sex hormone-binding globulin binding was a primary event leading to a low BT. Forty-eight percent of HF and 39% of SD were hypogonadal, as defined by a mean BT of 2.5 SD or more below the mean of YC (less than or equal to 2.3 nmol/L). Ninety percent of these had LH values in the normal range, suggesting hypothalamic-pituitary dysfunction. Thirty-four SD and six each of YC and older control volunteers (OC) underwent GnRH testing. Older subjects showed impaired responsiveness to GnRH compared to YC. A low basal LH level correlated very highly with hyporesponsiveness to GnRH. Thus, secondary hypogonadism and impotence are two common, independently distributed conditions of older men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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