Prasanth N. Surampudi, Christina Wang, and Ronald Swerdloff
Published: International Journal of Endocrinology 2012
Hypogonadism in older men is a syndrome characterized by low serum testosterone levels and clinical symptoms often seen in hypogonadal men of younger age. These symptoms include decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, decreased vitality, decreased muscle mass, increased adiposity, depressed mood, osteopenia, and osteoporosis. Hypogonadism is a common disorder in aging men with a significant percentage of men over 60 years of age having serum testosterone levels below the lower limits of young male adults. There are a variety of testosterone formulations available for treatment of hypogonadism. Data from many small studies indicate that testosterone therapy offers several potential benefits to older hypogonadal men. A large multicenter NIH supported double blind, placebo controlled study is ongoing, and this study should greatly enhance the information available on efficacy and side effects of treatment. While safety data is available across many age groups, there are still unresolved concerns associated with testosterone therapy. We have reviewed the diagnostic methods as well as benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy for hypogonadism in aging men.