Lower Testosterone Levels May Lead To Higher Mortality Rates
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES
Everyone knows that when we age, certain systems in our bodies start to function at less than 100 percent. Women typically experience this phenomenon during menopause, when Estrogen levels start to fall below normal levels.
This same phenomenon can hold true for men. Testosterone is a steroid hormone made from the testes, which aids in the development of male reproductive tissue, and aids in prostate health. Other areas that testosterone helps develop are secondary characteristics, including increased muscle size and mass, bone mass, and the growth of body hair.
As we age, our levels start to decline, similar to that of women, but not as fast. Research in the decline of testosterone levels and men’s health is starting to be researched more with some astonishing results.
One area of research that is gaining press is declining levels of testosterone, and death from cardiovascular disease. Research from Khaw et al, reported that men with higher levels of endogenous testosterone levels exhibited more favorable cardiovascular disease profile. These men showed higher HDL cholesterol levels and showed lower triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure, blood glucose, blood pressure, and a lower BMI.
The research done by Khaw et al. also showed that there was an inverse relationship with testosterone levels and mortality. Their research followed 11,606 men from 1993-1997, with a follow up in 2003. They found that 825 men had died and that 369 of those deaths came from cardiovascular disease, while the remaining 304 deaths came from Cancer.
The inverse relationship between low levels of testosterone and higher incidence of death was high. They also found that men with low testosterone levels showed an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Another study by Laughlin et al. showed that 30% of men, 60 years or older, were estimated to have low testosterone levels. Men that exhibited these low testosterone levels suffered from low bone and muscle mass, increased fat mass (abdominal fat), low energy, and impaired physical, cognitive and sexual function.
Laughlin et al, also showed that men with lower testosterone levels had an increased risk of falls, hip fractures, anemia, type 2 Diabetes, depressive illness, and in some studies, Alzheimer’s disease.
Having low levels of testosterone has been shown to possibly increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Having higher levels of testosterone not only can be protective to the heart, but also can prevent increases in BMI, hip fractures, and positive moods in men.
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