Diagnosing Hypogonadism: Free Testosterone May Be "More Informative"
20th World Meeting on Sexual Medicine Planned for 2016
Men with low levels of free testosterone - but normal levels of total testosterone - were more likely to have symptoms of hypogonadism (low testosterone) in a recent study.
When diagnosing hypogonadism, total testosterone is usually the focus. A team of European researchers questioned whether this method was accurate.
They looked at the testosterone levels of 3,369 men aged 40 - 79 who were participants in the European Male Ageing Study.
One subgroup of 261 men had normal total testosterone but low free testosterone. A second subgroup of 92 men had low total testosterone and normal free testosterone.
After accounting for age, body mass index, and comorbidities, the men in the first subgroup had more symptoms of hypogonadism than the men in the second subgroup.
When men in the second group were compared to men with normal levels of both free and total testosterone, no differences in sexual or physical symptoms were found.
The findings were presented in May at the 17th European Congress of Endocrinology, held in Dublin, Ireland.
"Our results suggest that free testosterone is more informative [for diagnosing hypogonadism] than total testosterone,” said researcher Dr. Leen Antonio during her presentation, according to Medscape Medical News.
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